Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (10)

Undated, Western Tibet?, Avalokiteshvara, brass with copper and silver inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

His Kashmiri-style chest and the use of silver  (eyes) and copper (lips and part of the accessories), coupled with the spectacular Pala-style headdress, shortish legs and overall bonhomie, suggest this figure was made in Tibet, possibly between the 12th and 14th century. The design of his lower garment was borrowed from Nepalese art.

The effigy of Amitabha (backed by a halo) on his chignon identifies him, and the fact that he once held the stem of a lotus in his left hand indicates that this is the padmapani form of the bodhisattva. The shape of his foliate crown panels and the incisions on the rim are often seen on Tibetan works dated 13th century circa.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Most sculptures of Avalokiteshvara standing depict him in his ‘lotus bearer’ form. This photo may be the wrong way round as he normally holds the lotus stem with his left hand while displaying a lotus engraved or embossed in the palm of his right hand, held in the gesture of supreme generosity. He stands on a lotus base which probably formed part of a set of bodhisattvas or bodhisattvas and buddha(s).

His short dhoti is decorated with a chased floral motif and held in place with a stone or glass-inlaid belt and a sash knotted to one side (normally the other side).

16th century, bronze (brass) and pigment (cold gold), at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena (USA).

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, photo by Galerie Petillon. 

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