Nepal, Avalokiteshvara – transitional period

10th-12th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, at the Neuchatel museum (Switzerland).

10th-12th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, at the Musée d’Ethnographie in Neuchatel  (Switzerland).

Avalokiteshvara, with an effigy of Amitabha in his crown, holds his right hand in the gesture of generosity while placing the other against his hip. The museum has prudently labelled this piece 10th-12th century but it has aspects of the (earlier) Licchavi style,  such as the use of  dark bronze (painted with cold gold but not fire-gilt), the sobriety of the jewellery and garment, the round shoulders and thin waist.  On the other hand, the shape of the halo attached to his shoulders can be seen on other 10th century works and the square jaw, the muscly limbs and the leaf-crown with a broader and taller central panel are more typical of the Thakuri style (10th-12th century, roughly).

 

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