Swat Valley, seated Avalokiteshvara (2)

7th-8th century, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

7th-8th century, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

This is an interesting sculpture of Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form, holding a large lotus flower with six petals identical in design to his earrings, seated on a hassock with a cut-out floral design over a single lotus base, a leg pendant, the foot resting on what looks like a single lotus petal. He has silver-inlaid eyes and an effigy of Amitabha on the central panel of his three-leaf Kashmiri-style crown, behind which his hair is gathered in a fan shape.

7th-8th-c-swat-valley-avalokiteshvara-c-a-175-cm-floral-throne-back-koller

One of the many distinctive features of Swat Valley sculptures is that the ribbons of the crown are not normally flowing or arranged on each side of the head, they fall straight behind the head.

Undated, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Undated, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Another example of the bodhisattva seated on a hassock, meant to be made of wicker. There is a very large image of Amitabha in his headdress and a round lotus flower in his left hand.  We will note the way his dhoti is fastened at the front, with a large loop on each side of the knot, unusual for the area – as is the round face.

8th-9th century, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, at the Palace Museum in Beijing.

8th-9th century (or later copy?), Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, at the Palace Museum in Beijing, published on gg-art.com.

A rare form of Avalokiteshvara, the lower right hand displays the gesture of generosity, the upper one holds a stem or a broken object, his lower left hand holds a pot of water, the upper one holds an unidentified object. The effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and the antelope skin over his shoulder leave no doubt as to his identity but the image doesn’t match any of his usual one-head and four-armed forms.

 

 

 

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