29.09.2005 to 29.01.2006

Unknown Tibet - Treasures from Buddhist Monasteries

The Museum of Indian Art Berlin presents in a special exhibition unknown treasures from Tibetan monasteries. The exquisite, very valuable metal works of art from the Himalayan area belong to an important private collection and are being displayed for the first time to the public. Absolute rarities in terms of quality and stylistic diversity.

Detached from their original environment and purpose, the representative ornaments show a superior artistic quality combined with a unique filigree virtuosity. Predominantly, fine engraved or repousse ornamentation with gold or silver inlays, seldom with a red lacquer overlay.

Originating from the impressive, red lack coated monastery portals, the gilded hinge strips and doorknockers with their use of Buddhist symbols on rich ornamented metal fittings would impress a visitor and demonstrate the artistic wealth of the temple. Mountings and hinges for chests, a horses saddle, harnessing and leather tackle, small boxes for valuables or ritual objects are also a focal point of this collection.

The exceptional stylistic variety of these objects and the combination of Central Asian, Indian, Nepalese, Chinese and Islamic style elements, reflect the numerous cultural and artistic influences, which shaped the diversity of Tibetan art.