VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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The protector deity Mahâkâla, in his manifestation as Gurgyi Gonpo
MA 5181
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This stone stele is remarkable for its quality, its expressive power, its well-preserved state, its size, and the historical information provided by the inscription on the reverse side. Also, in its purely Nepalese style, it represents the most ancient known dated example of the Kathmandu Valley's artistic influence on the development of Tibetan art.

History of the Object
The inscription on the back of the sculpture gives the name of the donor, Atsar Bagchi, described as "the close assistant and protégé by the leniency of the one named Phagpa". The latter, a renowned Tibetan monk (1235 - 1280) was one of the great religious leaders of the Sakyapas order. He converted Kublai Khan to Buddhism and was his Imperial Preceptor. According to a recent study by Pr L Van der Kuijp, Atsar Bagchi, after having served as a scribe to Phagpa Kublai Khan, became, as for him, an administrator in central Tibet.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Limestone, with pigments and gilt 
Measurements
Width 28,5 cm. Length 47 cm.  
Creator name
Kon-chog-kyab (according to the inscription) 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Tibet 
Geography
China; Tibet 
Time period
AD 13th century ~ AD 13th century 
Creation date
13th Century; 1292 (“year of the male water-dragon”), according to the inscription 
Function
Object of worship 
Acquisition
Gift of Lionel Fournier, 1989 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Musée national des Arts asiatiques - Guimet 
Museum
Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet 
Credit line
 

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