Tibet, Pala-style Avalokiteshvara (1)

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy and pigment, private collection.

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy and pigment, private collection.

12th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, at the British Museum (London).

12th century, Tibet or India, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the British Museum (London).

On these two statues, made by Indian artists, Avalokiteshvara doesn’t have en effigy of buddha Amitabha in his headdress but he is identifed through the position of his hands and the long-stemmed lotus he holds in the left one while resting his right foot on a lotus flower sprouting from the base. This type of tall double-lotus base was popular in Tibet during the 12th and 13th century, then came back into fashion in the 18th century with the “Pala revival” style. Other features typical of the Indian Pala styles are, as we have seen in other posts, the very tall chignon, large bows on each side of the head, slender figure slightly tilted to one side, and sharp facial features with pointed nose, small mouth, and eyes usually inlaid with silver.

The first one is wearing a transparent ankle-length dhoti and waist skirt, and has an antelope skin tied across his chest. He doesn’t wear any jewellery. The second one is bedecked with the usual princely ornaments, including a discreet crown and a finial on top of his chignon, and he wears a top garment decorated with an incised floral pattern and a matching ankle-length dhoti secured with a belt.

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2 thoughts on “Tibet, Pala-style Avalokiteshvara (1)

  1. I have many buddhists then I know that be unusual this page so How is it check my buddhist ??? I’d like to get some àdvice thank you !!!

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