Tibet, Avalokiteshvara Rajalilasana

14th century, Central Tibet, copper alloy with cold gold and pigment, at the Royal Ontario Museum.

14th century, Central Tibet, copper alloy with cold gold and pigment, photo by the Royal Ontario Museum.

There are very few Tibetan sculptures of Avalokiteshvara seated in royal ease or rajalilasana. He rests on his left hand, his left leg is folded, the other leg is raised to support his right arm in a casual manner. There is an antelope skin over his left shoulder and there may be a long-stem lotus next to him.

15th-16th century, Tibet, brass and pigments, at the Boston Museum of Art.

15th-16th century, Tibet, brass and pigments, photo by the Boston Museum of Art.

Even if there is no effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and no lotus next to him, this nonchalant pose is particular to Avalokiteshvara.

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