Nepal, 14th c. Padmapani stele

14th century, Nepal, Early Malla period, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, stone, private collection.

14th century, Nepal, Early Malla period, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, stone, private collection.

Avalokiteshvara, in his Padmapani (lotus bearer) form, is standing on a lotus (his attendants  on each side of him) with a long-stemmed lotus leaning on each arm, and a lotus flower in the palm of one hand.  He is wearing princely jewellery, a scared thread, and a mitre-like crown typical of Nepal with an effigy of Amitabha in the middle. The transparency of his skirt reveals a short dhoti and a marked knee cap (left-hand side of the picture). The broad sash across his thighs is also typical of Nepalese sculptures throughout the centuries although the shape varies. There  is a flaming halo behind his head that blends into the arch of heaven.

Out of interest, this figure with elegant body proportions and soft facial features may be compared with a wooden 14th century circa sculpture of Avalokiteshvara in his Phapga Lokeshvara form published by John Eskenazi, with the same type of crown but thicker limbs and sharper facial features.

 

 

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