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Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal

Lamp Bearer, Presumed Portrait of a Nobleman
Nepal, Dated by inscription 1698
Gilt-copper alloy
H. 10 in. (25.4 cm)

Zimmerman Family Collection, Promised Gift of the Zimmerman Family

This figure’s Rajput-style dress was popular in court circles in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Nepal. The sculpture carries a donor inscription that identifies him as Sri Muni Vajracharya, a member of the Varyacharya caste. He holds an oil lamp with a dragon handle and an elegant ewer in his extended hands as offerings to the presiding deity, here named as Padmapani Lokesvara, the lotus-bearing bodhisattva of compassion.

Inscription: Inscription (around base): on the seventh of the bright half of Āśvina, in the year 818 [September–October 1698], (this) was donated in honor of Śrī 3 Padmapāṇi Lokeśvara in the name of Śrī Muni Vajrāchārya. Let it be good.

Exhibition History
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal," December 16, 2017–December 16, 2018.