Milarepa (1040-1123) – The "Cotton-clad" Yogin
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Orientation 2
Display 4

ABS 359

 Code: ABS 359

  Country: Tibet


  Date: 1200 - 1300

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 9.7 x 16.5 x 8

  Materials: Brass

Milarepa (1040-1123) – The "Cotton-clad" Yogin

This portrait statue depicts the famous Tibetan poet and saint Milarepa, the "Cotton-clad Mila" (1040-1123). He was the main disciple of Marpa (1012-1097), the founder of the Tibetan Kagyü tradition. He sits in the ease posture on a stepped pedestal decorated with flowers and foliage patterns. Milarepa appears naked, dressed only in a cotton robe loosely draped around his waist and over his left shoulder. His right hand rests on his leg while his left holds a skull cup, the characteristic attribute of both ascetics and wrathful deities.

This portrait differs from Milarepa's later representations in which he typically holds his right hand to his ear in the singing posture. A Tibetan inscription on the back of the pedestal states: “Homage to the Venerable Mila, the great Cotton-clad” identifying him as Milarepa. The statue is very expressively modelled, with individual facial expression and unruly curls. This type of stepped pedestal is found mainly in statues dating from the 14th century at the latest.