The Himalayan Art website has just posted this blog entry aptly entitled “Sculptural Perfection”:
This Vajravarahi sculpture, for its time and type, is surely one of the finest ever created. Also view the five detail images. The face is beautiful although likely re-painted in the recent past. The body proportions and movement are excellent. The ornamentation is precise and detailed, also textually accurate. The elaborate scarf (not part of the textual description) is beautifully excessive with studded semi-precious stones – likely original to the piece – framing the central figure and bringing the entire sculpture to a fullness that is greater than the sum of the parts. Sculptural perfection – art and iconography!
The Sanskrit name Vajravarahi may be translated as “Diamond Sow” due to the pig’s head placed on the top or (in this case) right hand side of her head, depending on the tradition. She, in her various forms, is one of the most common meditation aspects in Diamond Way Buddhist practice. Adorned with bone ornaments and a necklace of severed heads, she stands in a dancing posture on a corpse seat. Lama Ole Nydahl often refers to her as “Red Wisdom”, due to her red colour and to the fact that she represents the embodiment of the highest wisdom of all Buddhas. Her right hand holds a chopping knife away from her body and in her left hand, at the level of her heart, is a skull cup full of nectar (click to enlarge images). This sculpture was made in the 15th Century in Tibet.