Late Malla Avalokiteshvara – seated

15th-16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy and gemstones, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

15th-16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy and gemstones, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

Seated with one leg on top of the other, Avalokiteshvara holds the stem of a lotus with his left hand and does the abhaya mudra with the other, displaying a diamond incised in his palm. Another lotus is fastened to his right elbow.

16th century circa, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century circa, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This Pala-revival style sculpture depicts him seated with a leg pendant, his right foot resting on a lotus stemming from the base, his right hand doing the varada mudra and the other holding the stem of a lotus.

16th c. cir., Nepal, Padmapani, bronze, pala revival, varada, Christie's

He wears a transparent sash across his chest and a sacred thread, an ankle-length dhoti decorated with a stippled floral motif, no jewellery or ornate belt.

16th c. cir., Nepal, Padmapani, bronze, pala revival, face, Christie's

His jatamukata was inlaid with stones, now missing. He has well-crafted facial features, with full nose and lips and very ornate earlobes. In contrast, the fingers and toes are rather thick.

16th century, Nepal or Nepalese artist in Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, at the Musée Guimet (France).

16th century, Nepal or Nepalese artist in Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, at the Musée Guimet (France).

Avalokiteshvara with one head and four arms (chaturbhuja) is seated on a Yongle-style lotus base, the main hands in prayer, the others doing the vitarka mudra and holding a lotus flower and a (missing) rosary. This form is often referred to as Shadakshari Lokeshvara.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass, private collection, photo by Nagel.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass, private collection, photo by Nagel.

The same form of Avalokiteshvara is shown here with a lotus bud on top of his chignon, adorned with a five-leaf crown, princely jewellery and belt, all with a floral pattern, wearing a long dhoti with ample draping and decorated with an incised motif. There is a serrated halo attached to his back.

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