Nepal, Avalokiteshvara – shadbhuja

16th century, Nepal, Three Malla Kingdoms, gilt copper alloy, at the Asia Society Museum in New York (USA).

16th century, Nepal, Three Malla Kingdoms, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the Asia Society Museum in New York (USA).

In his one-head and six-arm form (shadbhuja), Avalokiteshvara sits with a leg pendant, holding a fly whisk, a thunderbolt and a noose in his right hands, a vajra-hook, a long-stem lotus and a water pot in his left hands. There is an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and a tall rectangular urna on his forehead.  He wears an antelope skin knotted across his chest, a sash, an ankle-length dhoti richly incised with a floral motif, princely jewellery including large floral earrings. Unlike the majority of images seen so far, he wears a sacred thread over his right shoulder rather than on the other side. A devotee is kneeling on a lotus bud that stems from the central column which supports the large lotus flower on which he sits.

Late Malla Avalokiteshvara – unusual

17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise and pigments, published by Marcel Nies on asianart.com

17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise and pigments, published by Marcel Nies on asianart.com

This eleven-head Avalokiteshvara has 10 hands instead of eight, a feature specific to Nepal. His main hands are in prayer at heart level holding  a wish-granting gem. The other right hands hold a dharma wheel, a rosary and an effigy of Amitabha, the lower one displays the varada mudra. In the remaining left hands he holds a flaming pearl, a  vase of immortality, a bow and arrow, a lotus flower.

17th-18th c., Nepal, Padmapani, rock crystal, private collection, published on castor-hara.com

17th-18th c., Nepal, Padmapani, rock crystal, private collection, published on castor-hara.com.

Both in Tibet and Nepal, rock crystal sculptures of Avalokiteshara are few and usually late works. This one is adorned with a tiara,  a V-shaped necklace typical of the Late Malla period, matching armbands, two bracelets, a sacred thread,  earrings shaped like lotus buds. He wears a short dhoti held in place with a belt and a sash worn diagonally and knotted to one side. The short legs and big feet are in contrast with the upper part of the body and the fine facial features, pointing to a late date within the Malla period.

Late 17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

Late 17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Avalokiteshvara is seated  in a relaxed manner, his right hand resting over his knee, the left one leaning on the double lotus base. There is an antelope skin knotted across his chest, an effigy of Amitabha in his chignon, a long-stem lotus to his left, all of which correspond to the popular padmapani form although he wears no crown or jewellery but for a small necklace (like much earlier Himalayan sculptures, in particular from the Swat Valley).

18th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (USA).

18th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (USA).

This image, adorned with large floral jewellery inlaid with stones, shows him displaying the vitarka mudra with his right hand and holding a pot of water in the other (in the manner of Gandharan works),  an attribute not normally seen on Nepalese sculptures of this bodhisattva.

Nepal, Cintamani Lokeshvara

16th century circa, Nepal, Chintamani Lokeshvara, wood and paint, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

16th century circa, Nepal, Chintamani Lokeshvara, wood and paint, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA).

This form of Avalokiteshvara, with one head and two hands, stands under a wish-fulfilling tree and usually displays the varada mudra with the right hand and holds a gem or a bunch of jewels at head level with his left hand. We have already seen a full size picture of the above (standing between 2 trees) in a previous post, published the wrong way round. This partial image shows him the right way round, with the jewels in the left hand.

Undated (Late Malla period), Nepal, Chintamani Lokeshvara, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated (Late Malla period), Nepal, Chintamani Lokeshvara, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Specific to the Newar culture, this form of Avalokiteshvara seems to have been particularly popular during the late Malla period. The above stands under one tree, with jewelled leaves.

17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, Chintamani, stone, photo by Marcel Nies on asianart.com

Chintamani Lokeshvara, Nepal, Malla Kingdoms, circa 1600. stone, photo by Marcel Nies, published on asianart.com

Like the first image, this Chintamani (or Cintamani) Lokeshvara stands between two trees that meet to form an arch. There is an effigy of Amitabha at the top, a kneeling monkey to the right of the bodhisattva above head level, a bird on the other side, gems and flowers in the tree. He holds a circular gem in his right hand and a bunch of gems in the other. A devotee is kneeling at his feet while another figure is carrying a bag of riches away. He is adorned with the traditional floral jewellery and a thick garland of woven leaves and flowers.

Chintamani Lokeshvara, Nepal, 1613, stone, at Svayanbhu, Nepal.

Chintamani Lokeshvara, Nepal, 1613, stone, at the Svayambhu Museum, Nepal.

This is a similar (but larger) work, without the two figures at his feet. The jewels on the tree(s) are studded with red stones or glass.

17th century, Nepal, Cintamani Lokeshvara, gilt copper and stones, at the Nelson Atkins Museum (USA).

17th century, Nepal, Cintamani Lokeshvara, gilt copper and stones, at the Nelson Atkins Museum (USA).

On this metal sculpture he holds a wish-granting gem in the right hand, held in varada mudra, and a bunch of jewels in the other. The lotus pedestal with the tree is missing but this is the only form of Avalokiteshvara with jewels in the left hand and the other displaying the gesture of generosity.

Late Malla Avalokiteshvara – standing (3)

Standing Avalokitesvara , 16th century Nepal (Kathmandu Valley), Sandalwood, traces of polychrome and gold ; H. 6 in. (15.2 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1947 (47.108) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/38441

Standing Avalokitesvara , 16th century, Nepal (Kathmandu Valley),
Sandalwood, traces of polychrome and gold, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (USA).

Standing on a double lotus base with round petals, the bodhisattva of compassion holds his right hand in the gesture of supreme generosity and has the long stem of a lotus flower in the other. He is adorned with a crown and jewellery with a floral design, a long sacred thread, a belt and a sash placed diagonally and knotted to one side.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Padmapani, gilt copper alloy and pigment, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Padmapani, gilt copper alloy and pigment, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

We saw a very similar Pala-revival sculpture of Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form in a previous post. There is an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, between the small floral tiara and his chignon. He is adorned with bulky jewellery with a floral motif and a matching belt.

16th-17th c., Nepal, Padmapani, Pala revival, gilt cop.+pig., 18,4 cm, Amitabha in crown, incised dhoti+palm, Mossgreen

His long dhoti is incised with lotus flowers and there is an incised diamond with a lotus at the centre in the palm of his right hand.

17th century circa

17th century circa, Nepal, Padmapani, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The mitre-like crown is specific to Nepal, and in particular to the Malla period. He is adorned with large jewellery with a floral motif and dressed in a long dhoti with an incised pattern, complemented by a belt with a pendant ribbon at the front and an incised sash worn across the thighs.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, ivory, at the British Museum (UK)

17th-18th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, ivory, at the British Museum (UK).

This Avalokiteshvara has a lotus embossed in the palm of his left hand. He also wears a crown, jewellery and belt with a floral motif, to remind us that he belongs to the lotus family.

Late Malla Avalokiteshvara – standing (2)

 

16th century, Nepal or Nepalese artist in Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

16th century, Nepal or Nepalese artist in Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

Avalokiteshvara, in his padmapani form, holds the stem of an eight-petal lotus flower in his left hand and displays the varada mudra (supreme generosity) with the other. He is adorned with floral jewellery, matching belt and hair ornament on his chignon, a five-leaf crown and a Chinese-style swirling celestial scarf. A foliate halo typical of the Late Malla period is fastened to his shoulders. The left leg is slightly bent and the knee cap prominent.

16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, John and Berthe Ford collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, John and Berthe Ford collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The above wears a sash tightly drawn across his chest.

Same as before, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

Same as before, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is another example of the bodhisattva standing rather stiffly, but with the head slightly bent. His celestial scarf and the sash over his dhoti are richly incised with a floral pattern. There is an incised diamond in the palm of his right hand.

16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

This work is closer in style to the early Malla period, with a graceful pose and more realistic limbs.

17th century circa, Nepal, Padmapani, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century circa, Nepal, Padmapani, bronze and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Late Malla Prajnaparamita

16th-17th century, Nepal, Prajnaparamita, gilt copper repoussé and stones, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Prajnaparamita, gilt copper repoussé and stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Prajnamparamita, mother of all buddhas, is shown here in her one- face and four-arm form, holding her main attribute, a manuscript, in her upper left hand. The upper right hand, which probably held a rosary, is doing the teaching gesture, while the main hands display the dharmacakra mudra (turning the wheel of dharma). She wears a V-shaped necklace and big armbands, an incised scarf that forms an arch behind her and a plain dhoti with an incised hem, all typical of the period. She almost certainly wore large circular earrings studded with turquoise, now lost.

Same as before, private collection, published on the saleroom-com.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Prajnaparamita, copper alloy, private collection, published on the saleroom-com.

Apart from the rosary and manuscript in her upper hands, she may have a lotus in her lower left hand, while the remaining hand displays the gesture of supreme generosity.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Prajnaparamita, stone stele, private collection, published on en-expertissim.com.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Prajnaparamita, shale stone, private collection, published on en.expertissim.com.

On this stele, the deity is standing and holding the same attributes. There is a second manuscript in her upper left hand together with the rosary, and the lotus is missing from her lower left hand. This form of Prajnaparamita is sometimes mistaken for Vasudhara, but the upper right hand would be held away from the face, in the gesture of accomplishing music, whereas Prajnaparamita holds it towards her face.

Late Malla Sarasvati

16th century, Nepal, Sarasvati, polychrome wood, gilt copper repoussé accessories, private collection, published by Galerie Zacke, Vienna (Austria).

16th century, Nepal, Sarasvati, wood, gilt copper repoussé+turquoise, private collection, published by Galerie Zacke, Vienna (Austria).

This wooden sculpture with metal accessories depicts Sarasvati with one head and four hands, dressed in tight-fitting garments decorated with paint and cold gold, playing the (missing) vina with her main hands.

16th c., Nepal, Sarasvati, parcel gilt+painted wood+turq., 54,5 cm, vinya missing, Chepu in crown, face, Galerie Zacke, Vienna

She wears a tall gilt copper repoussé crown with a floral and foliate motif and a small Kirtimuka on the front panel, turquoise inlay, side bows and flowing serpentine ribbons. The earlobes are adorned with large circular floral earrings also inlaid with turquoise.

16th c., Nepal, Sarasvati, parcel gilt+painted wood+turq., 54,5 cm, vinya missing, Chepu in crown, upper hands, back, Galerie Zacke, Vienna

She holds a manuscript in her top left hand and the pearl of knowledge in her right hand, displaying the vitarka mudra (debate, teaching).

17th century, Nepal, Sarasvati, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

17th century, Nepal, Sarasvati, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The above, complete with string instrument, has a rosary in her upper right hand and a manuscript on the other side.