Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (11)

16th century circa, relabelled 17th-18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, ivory, at the Brooklyn Museum (USA).

A rare ivory image of the bodhisattva of compassion holding a large lotus and wearing a floral crown and matching jewellery, a sash across his hips and a celestial scarf.

17th century, same as before, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).

Equally rare is this version by Chöying Dorje, 10th Karmapa, depicting the deity in his own particular style, with a large artichoke-like flower, a devotee kneeling on a Swat Valley-style lotus base at his feet. There is an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, an antelope or deer skin over his left shoulder and an object in his right hand that looks like a loop.

Same as before, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A similar version made of copper alloy, with cold gold on the faces and pigments, two kneeling figures, probably the donors, all three of them on a single lotus pedestal with a plain rim.

Even the toe nails and the curly tips of the lotus petals have been executed with care.

Undated, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi (India).

A figure with a long skirt-like garment and sash in the Nepalese fashion, a tall crown with floral and crescent moon panels reminiscent of early Kashmir stone statues, a shawl and floral earring with a foliate pendant often seen on  Chinese-style works from the 16th century onwards.

His Tibetan-style facial features are painted with pigments over cold gold. There is an antelope skin over his left shoulder.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with cold gold, silver and copper inlay, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

On the Indian prototype the dhoti would reach the ankles whereas on this late Pala-revival sculpture it stops above the knees. Another two major differences are the very thin jatamukata (tall braided chignon) and the heart-shape petals on the exaggeratedly tall pedestal.



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