Detail View: The AMICA Library: Bodhisattva Manjushri in the Form of Sita Manjughosa

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Creator Nationality: 
Asian; Far East Asian; Tibetan
Creator Name-CRT: 
Bodhisattva Manjushri in the Form of Sita Manjughosa
Full view
Creation Date: 
13th-14th century
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Copper alloy with inlays of turquoise
Classification Term: 
Creation Place: 
Western Tibet
H. 12 3/8 in. (31.4 cm)
AMICA Contributor: 
Asia Society
Owner Location: 
New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Tibetan sculpture is characterized by a conservative and complicated iconography, and the acceptance and adaptation of figures, facial types, and clothing associated with many other cultures and various eras. This seated image of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, illustrates the continuation of Kashmiri influence in western Tibetan sculpture during the 13th and 14th centuries. Manjushri's pronounced facial features, fleshy cheeks, and a strong physique characterize Kashmiri styles in Tibetan art. Tibetan characteristics are seen in the immediacy and directness of the figure and the complex and detailed treatment of the pedestal, the lotus stalks, and the crown and jewelry. This interest in detail is also found in the naturalistic treatment of the sash that ties Manjushri's skirt.

Manjushri is here identified by the image of a small book that rests on top of the lotus held in his left hand. He often holds a sword, but its absence here helps to distinguish this as an image of Manjushri as Sita Manjughosa, a form of the bodhisattva that stresses the role of meditation in attaining transcendental wisdom. This form of Manjushri reflects the teachings of Mahapandita Shakya Shri (1127-1225), a monk from Kashmir who was active in Tibet in the early 13th century.

Related Document Description: 
Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 24.
Related Document Description: 
Huntington, John C. 'Three Essays on Himalayan Metal Images.' Apollo (November 1983), pp. 416-17, 419.
Related Document Description: 
Huntington, Susan L., and John C. Huntington. Leaves from the Bodhi Tree: The Art of Pala India (8th-12th Centuries) and Its International Legacy. Dayton and Seattle: Dayton Art Institute and University of Washington Press, 1990, p. 382.
Related Document Description: 
Lopez, Donald S., Jr., and Steven C. Rockefeller. Images of the Christ and the Bodhisattva. Middlebury, Vt.: Christian A. Johnson Memorial Gallery of Middlebury College, 1984, cat. no. 38.
Related Image Identifier Link: