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Showing until November 28 at their gallery on the third floor of 13 Old Bond Street, W1 is Homage to the Holy: Portraits of Tibet’s Spiritual Teachers, an assemblage of 50 portrait statues ranging in date from the 12th to 19th centuries and in price from £2000 to £45,000, although one is aound £80,000.

Most of the figures are in bronze, both gilded and ungilded, although among the most expressive are some of the later examples fashioned from painted clay. The whole group was put together over a period of 15 years by a European collector.

The story of Tibetan Buddhism is one of the relationship between great teachers and their often distinguished pupils. From the 11th century onwards texts relate the fervour with which Tibetan monks would seek to learn from those enlightened tutors who had attained great wisdom. They would even travel to India, the home of Buddhism, to learn.

Statues were commissioned to commemorate the spiritual teachers and to remind later generations of their lineage and inherited knowledge.

A divinity first

FOR the first time the Shapero Gallery will take part in the Asian Art in London celebrations, currently in full swing in the capital, with an exhibition Divine Pursuits at their gallery at 24 Bruton Street, W1 until November 14.

The exhibition charts Indian painting traditions from the 15th to 19th century and covers all regions. But it is not restricted to religious subjects and tackles such earthly pastimes as princes hunting and ladies languishing at court.

At the same time the gallery also displays two collections of photographs of India during the 19th century, Dr John Murray – Early Indian Photographs and Felice Beato – India after the Mutiny. The images document not just the beauty of the monuments and ruins but also the romance of this turbulent period.