Since its dawn, 2,500 years ago, Buddhism has been, and is today, a major source of inspiration for Eastern art and architecture, giving rise to a complex and multifaceted iconographic and symbolic system. The important output of Buddhist art that has survived over the years tells us the wonderful and surprising story of a religion and its people in relation to the Buddha, Dharma (“teaching”) and Buddhism.
The result of the continuous aesthetic and cultural research of the Oriental Art Department of Cambi Auction House, the new catalog of the Fine Chinese Works of Art (832) auction – the maison’s most prestigious Live auction dedicated to Oriental art – encloses a selection of precious objects and lots, including an important and rare bronze Vajrasattva figure (lot 132) measuring 17 cm in height, depicted seated on a double lotus flower and made in Tibet between the 12th and 13th centuries. A unique work in terms of its making that was shown in several exhibitions at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 1999, later at Palazzo Bricherasio in Turin in 2004, and finally at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York from 2005 to 2017.
In Buddhist traditions, Vajrasattva is a bodhisattva, a person who is on the path to bodhi (“awakening”) or Buddhahood and is associated with sambhogakāya (subtle body of unlimited form) and the practice of purification. In fact, the name Vajrasattva translates to “Being Diamond” or “Being Thunderbolt.” According to some esoteric lineages, Nagarjuna, one of the most important Indian Buddhist philosophers, allegedly met Vajrasattva in an iron tower in southern India and taught him tantra, an esoteric yogic tradition, thus passing on the teachings to other historical figures.
Vajrasattva practices are common to all four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and are used to purify obscurations so that the Vajrayana student can progress beyond the Ngondro practices (preliminary fundamental practices) to the various yoga practices of tantra, and to purify any samaya (“commitment”) vows broken after initiation. Vajrasattva practice is thus an essential element of Tibetan Buddhist practice. In addition to personal practice, the Vajrasattva mantra is believed to have the ability to purify karma, bring peace and provoke enlightened activity in general.
From April 1 to 4, the public will be able to visit the display of lots at the maison’s Milan headquarters.
Discover all the lots in the auction: https://www.cambiaste.com/it/asta-0832/fine-chinese-works-of-art.asp?action=res