Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (6)

11th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, brass, at the Stuttgart Museum

11th century, Western Tibet (or Kashmir), Avalokiteshvara, brass with silver-inlaid eyes, at the Linden-Museum  in Stuttgart (Germany).

This Kashmiri style masterpiece depicts Avalokiteshvara Padmapani (with particularly long legs) standing on a double-lotus base and plinth, a foot over the top of the pedestal, one hand doing the gesture of generosity, the other holding the stem of a (broken) lotus, adorned with a garland of leaves, jewellery and a sacred thread. His crown, made of three triangular panels, is typical of the Western Tibet and Ladakh area (we have seen in a previous post a similar sculpture of Avalokiteshvara from the Hemis monastery in Ladakh).

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This other, with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips, has a plumper face and a fuller, more realistic, body. His richly incised dhoti is held in place with a belt. As on the previous example, it reaches above the knee on one side and is much longer on the other, with the pointed end reaching the base.

12th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with silver and turquoise inlay, at the Norton Simon Museum.

12th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with gold, silver and turquoise inlay, at the Norton Simon Museum.

Here, the muscles are not as defined, the shoulders, hips and facial features are broader.

12th c., Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, c.a.+g.+sil.turq.inlay, face, Norton Simon

As on many other examples, the band that holds his crown has a rectangular ornament at the front (the stone now missing from it) and three long stands of matted hair fall over his shoulders.  The rosettes  are particularly large and there are no side bows. He has deeply incised eyebrowns, silver-inlaid eyes and urna. There is an effigy of Amitabha in his crown.

12th c., Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, c.a.+g.sil.+turq. inlay+pig., dhoti, Norton Simon

His dhoti is richly incised with a floral and geometrical motif, the edge of the longer side forms a ziz-zag shape all the way down. The extremities of his belt are neatly arranged, one diagonally and the other in a semi-circular shape – a recurrent feature, along with the buckle (usually shaped like a flower) and the large floral earrings.

Same as before, labelled 13th-14th century, at the san Francisco Museum of Art.

Same as before, labelled 13th-14th century, at the san Francisco Asian Art Museum.

This was clearly made in the same atelier. The position of the hand that holds the lotus is different and as a result the stem of the lotus passes over the garland, the rest is almost identical …

12th c., Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, c.a.+cold g-+pig., face

except for the head. This picture is the wrong way round (as in a mirror) but we can see that the facial features and the crown are different.

Same as before, copper alloy with pigments, is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Same as before, copper alloy, is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This well-proportioned figure wears a slightly different type of crown (also with an effigy of Amithaba on the front panel). His soft facial features are painted with cold gold and pigments. The slender body is swinging to one side in the Nepalese fashion. His transparent dhoti reaches below the knee and is fastened with a belt. He wears a celestial scarf closely fitted to his shoulders, the pointed ends reaching the (missing) pedestal.

 

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