Bhairava bronze mask.
- Solid bronze Bhairava mask, Nepal, circa 1900.
- A manifestation of Shiva’s wrathful form, it indicates that phenomenal existence must be overcome. The rendering of detail is carefully executed, with large, bulging eyes under furrowed brows centered by the third eye on the forehead, flamboyant hair with lotus decorations, wearing a necklace and earrings in the shape of snakes.
- Newaris masks such as this one were never worn, but used during a festival dedicated to Indra, the “Indra Jatra”: A pot of beer or liquor was placed behind each mask and then poured out of the deity’s open mouth, the beverage was consumed by the faithful. The custom of drinking as part of the Indra festival is unique to Nepal, and these large, mask-shaped sculptures are typical of Nepalese culture.
- Bhairava is also known as the one who destroys fear or the one who is beyond fear. He protects his followers from their enemies, from greed, lust and anger. Another interpretation of Bhairava is that he is the one who creates, sustains and dissolves the three stages of life, thus becoming the ultimate, the supreme. He is revered throughout India , Nepal , Indonesia , Sri Lanka and Japan as well as in Tibetan Buddhism.
- H 36 cm x W 36 cm x H 11 cm
- Approximate weight 4 kilos
- Provenance: Estate of art dealer and collector Claude de Marteau.
- Sold with certificate of origin.
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