Kashmir, seated Avalokiteshvara

8th century, Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, bronze with silver inlay, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).

8th century, Kashmir (or Swat Valley?), Avalokiteshvara, bronze with silver inlay, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).

The bodhisattva of compassion is seated on a large lotus over a rocky formation, holding a lotus bud in his left hand, the right hand held in the varada mudra (generosity), dressed in a long dhoti, wearing two different earrings, a necklace and bracelets, an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress.

8th c., Kashmir (or Swat?), Padmapani, bronze+sil. inlay, back, Cleveland

Apart from the fine pleating of his garment, there are several elements reminiscent of Swat Valley works such as the dark colour of the metal, almost black, and the fan-shaped hair style. The remaining hair is gathered into thick plaits on each side of his head.

8th-9th century, Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

8th-9th century, Kashmir or Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is Avalokiteshvara with one head and four hands in his ‘Avalokita’ form, with the lower right hand doing the varada mudra, the upper right hand holding a (broken) lotus, the right hands holding a lasso and a lotus bud. He is seated with a leg pendant, on a Swat Valley style lion throne on a lotus and plain plinth. He wears a crown adorned with large rosettes and matching floral earrings, necklace and armbands, plain bracelets and a sacred thread.

10th-11th century, Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (UK).

10th-11th century, Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (UK).

Avalokiteshvara is identified through the effigy of Amitabha on his head, the antelope skin over his left shoulder and the (broken) lotus in his left hand. The right hand appears to have held an object too. He has silver-inlaid eyes and traces of cold gold on his face. Part of his hair is fastened into three top knots in the manner of Indian adepts and the rest forms long plaits on each side of the head.The thin waist, lobed abdomen with cruciform navel, developed torso with marked pectorals are typical of Kashmir.

10th-11th c., Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, 25 cm, close up, Ashmolean

The standing female figures next to him wear a tight-fitting bodice with an inverted U-shaped lower hem that shows their navel.

11th-12th century, Kashmir, brass and silver inlay, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (USA).

11th-12th century, Kashmir, brass and silver inlay, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (USA).

This is a similar image without the attendants, on a rocky formation with two deers at the front.

10th-11th century, Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France), photo by Images d'Art.

10th-11th century, Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the Musée Guimet in Paris (France), photo by Images d’Art.

This one-head and six-arm form, referred to as ‘Sugatisamdarshana  (or Sugatisa Darsana) Lokeshvara’, is seated on a cylindrical base, with a leg pendant, the foot resting on a lotus. His lower right hand does the varada mudra, there is a rosary in the upper right hand, the other appears to have held a vajra. The left hands hold a the stem of a lotus flower, a water pot and another attribute (possibly an elephant hook). There are two seated attendants next to him and two standing figures, likely to be the donors. There is a long stem rising from the pedestal and going over the flaming mandorla.

11th-12th century, Kashmir or Pakistan, brass, Avalokiteshvara, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

11th-12th century, Kashmir, brass, Avalokiteshvara, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Avalokiteshvara in his popular padmapani form, the right hand held in the gesture of supreme generosity, a lotus in his left hand,  has an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and an antelope skin over his left shoulder.

11th-12th c., Kashmir, Padmapani, brass, close up, Katimari on HAR

The eyes are inlaid with silver, the lips and nipples with copper.

 

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