Friday, March 25, 2005

Mongolia | Springtime in the Big Buutz

Winter is over in the Big Buutz. Temperatures up into the 40s F. in the afternoons and everyone is out enjoying the sunshine.

Sun worshippers at Gandan Monastery

Here is a new billboard

Man of the Millennium Temujin, a.k.a Chingis Khan, Genghis Khan, etc.

All this Chingisophilia is of course leading to the 800th Anniversary of the Founding of the Mongolia Empire scheduled for 2006. Book your hotel rooms now.

Mongolia | Zanabazar vs. School of Zanabazar

Zanabazar, or at least his school, is finally making the Big Time, in the Big Apple no less. From March 28 through April 4 there will be an exhibition and sale of Buddhist art works attributed to the “School of Zanabazar” at the Barbara Mathes Gallery on 57 Avenue in New York City. The sale is being organized by Rossi & Rossi, a big-time art leader out of London, with publicity by Sue Bond Public Relations, likewise hailing from the Sceptored Isle. According to the press release the exhibition and sale, called “Treasures from Mongolia: Buddhist Sculpture from the School of Zanabazar,” is “the first ever selling exhibition devoted to Mongolian sculpture . . . The exhibition comprises twenty-six gilded pieces dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Formerly in a private collection, the sculptures are unpublished and have never before been exhibited. This exhibition offers an extraordinary opportunity to see a considerable number of outstanding Mongolian sculptures of various Buddhist subjects. The prices will range from $25,000 to over $150,000.”

I met the other night with Jamyang, a well-known Mongolian artist and fontographer, and also with the head of Erdene Zuu Monastery in Kharkhorin, and neither had any idea of whose private collection this might be.

The dealers are being very cagey as to the works they are selling are from the School of Zanabazar or by the Master himself. Here is a Sitasamara from the School of Zanabazar offered for sale:

Sitasamvara with his consort in the Yab-Yum position (Photo Courtesy of Sue Bond Public Relations)

I popped into the Choijin Lama Temple Museum for another look at Zanabazar’s Sitasamvara, widely regarded as one of the very best of his works.

Entrance to the Choijin Lama Temple Museum

Zanabazar’s Sitasamvara in the Choijin Lama Temple Museum

Details of Zanabazar’s Sitasamvara

For more see Zanabazar’s Art Works in the Choijin Lama Temple Museum

Here is a Sitatapatra from the School of Zanabazar being offered for sale:


Details of Sitatapatra (Photo Courtesy of Sue Bond Public Relations)
Compare this with Zanabazar’s Green Tara in the Winter Palace Museum;

Zanabazar’s Green Tara

Details of Zanabazar’s Green Tara

It would probably be best to view the "School of Zanabazar" works in situ in the Big Apple to get the best impression of them.