Nepal, early Malla Avalokiteshvara (2)

12th-13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, stone, private collection, photo by Christie's.

12th-13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, stone, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Avalokiteshvara, in his padmapani form, stands rather stiffly on a pedestal with a single row of broad peals topped with large beading, backed by a mandorla and matching halo, holding the stem of a round lotus flower in his right hand, doing the varada mudra with the other.

12th-13th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, stone, 50,2 cm, Amitabha in crown, halo and mandorla, detail, Christie's

He wears a mitre-like crown with an effigy of Amitabha with large flaps and rosettes, floral earrings, beaded jewellery and a sacred thread, a short dhoti, with a belt and a broad sash across the thighs.

12th-13th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, stone, 50,2 cm, Amitabha in crown, halo and mandorla, diamond in palm, Christie's

There is an incised diamond in the palm of his right hand, which is placed before a shorter flower that stems from the base.

14th century, Nepal or Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

14th century, Nepal or Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

While there is no doubt that this metal sculpture was made according to the Nepalese style of the early Malla period, the robust chest, the thick waist and thighs, and the stiffness of the pleated sash suggest it was made in a Nepalese workshop in Tibet.

14th century, Nepal, labelled bodhisattva, copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Nepal, labelled bodhisattva, Kathmandu Valley, copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

We have seen other similar works from the Kathmandu Valley depicting the bodhisattva with his left foot over his right thigh and his left hand over his knee, adorned with princely jewellery including one or several rings.

14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, labelled B., Kathmandu Valley, c.a.+stones, 19.7 cm, antelope skin, Christie's

Despite the absence of a lotus, the position of his hands and the tiny antelope skin over his left shoulder (of which we can see the head and hooves) suggest that this is indeed Avalokiteshvara.

14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, labelled B., Kathmandu Valley, c.a.+stones, 19.7 cm, face, Christie's

He wears a five-leaf crown with a  ‘Kirtimukha design’ on the front panel, tiny stone-inlaid rosettes, thin flowing ribbons and bows.  He has unusual ear adornments shaped like a spiral ending tipped with a jewel.

14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, labelled B., Kathmandu Valley, c.a.+stones, 19.7 cm, rings, Christie's

There is a diamond incised on the palm of his right hand and on his soles.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Seated ‘at royal ease’, leaning on his left hand, the other nonchalantly placed over his knee, this bodhisattva probably had a lotus passing through the piece of metal on his left forearm. This detail, along with the way he sits and the absence of attributes corresponding to other bodhisattvas, points to Avalokiteshvara.

 

 

 

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Nepal, early Malla Avalokiteshvara

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie's.

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

When seated, Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form may be seated in a relaxed pose, his right hand placed nonchalantly over the raised knee, the left hand resting on the base and holding the long stem of a lotus flower.

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper and stones, at the Asia Society Museum in New York (USA).

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper and stone inlay, at the Asia Society Museum in New York (USA).

This sculpture depicts him with one leg on top of the other, a pose specific to the Nepalese Malla period. His left hand almost certainly held the stem of a lotus, now missing, fastened to his left forearm. He wears a five-leaf crown with Kirtimukha at the centre.

13th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt cop.+stones, 47 cm, lost lotus, rings, diamond in palm. antelope skin on shoulder, diamond in palm, Asia Society M. in NY

His right hand displays the abhaya mudra and there is an incised diamond in its palm.

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy and stone inlay, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy and stone inlay, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

This un-gilt works looks almost identical, the  waist is straighter and the bows on each side are placed more forward. There is a red cabochon at the centre of his belt.

14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, c.a.+ stones, 45 cm, missing lotus, diamond+lotus in palm, NSM

and a lotus inside a rhombus/diamond in the palm of his right hand.

These two items may, in fact, be contemporary.

15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper or copper alloy, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (USA).

15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper or copper alloy, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (USA).

This Pala-style Padmapani has a lotus flower embossed in the palm of his right hand, extended in the varada mudra. He is seated on a tall pedestal with two rows of petals, his right foot resting on a flower attached to the base. The long stem of a (broken) lotus passes through his left hand.

 

 

Nepal, Yellow Jambhala or Kubera

13th century, Nepal, Jambhala or Kubera, gilt copper, at the Fondation Alain Bordier (Switzerland).

13th century, Nepal, Jambhala or Kubera, gilt copper, at the Fondation Alain Bordier (Switzerland).

This looks like Yellow Jambhala, seated with a leg unfolded, holding a jewel-spitting mongoose with his left hand, but he would normally hold a citron in his right hand held out in the varada mudra, whereas here he does the kartari mudra. On the other hand, Kubera is rarely seen in Himalayan Buddhism and he would normally hold a mace, a pomegranate or a monkey in his right hand.

15th century, Nepal, Yellow Jambhala, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

15th century, Nepal, Yellow Jambhala, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This Yellow Jambhala, with citron and mongoose, is seated on a lotus pedestal with two rows of flat broad petals. He is adorned with princely jewellery and crown, and wears a broad sash across his chest and a long dhoti decorated with an incised pattern.

Padmapani, early Malla period (7)

14th century, Nepal, Padmapani, gilt copper and stones, private collection, published on asianart.com

14th century, Nepal, Padmapani, gilt copper and stones, private collection, published on asianart.com

This style is very representative of the Malla period, but not exclusive to it…

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshara, black stone, private collection, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshara, black stone, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Stone steles of the same period usually depict him wearing a mitre-like crown, often with an effigy of Amitabha at the front.

Same as before, published by Gallerie C. Hioco.

Same as before, published by Gallerie C. Hioco.

often accompanied by two smaller figures, who may be attendants or devotees (as above).

14th c., Nepal, Padmapani, stone, 26 cm, Amitabha in crown, lotus detail, gallerie C. Hioco

This Padmapani has an incised four-petal flower inside a rhombus in the palm of his hand.

15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, stone, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, stone, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

There is often a second lotus stemming from the base, to his right.

15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published by Endless Knot.

15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published by Endless Knot.

It is unusual to see the mitre-like crown on Malla period metal sculptures of Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form.

Padmapani, early Malla period (6)

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy and gemstones, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy and gemstones, at the Norton Simon Museum (USA).

In previous posts we saw him mainly with his right hand in the varada mudra. This is a variant (with broken feet, unfortunately) with the hand doing the abhaya mudra, and displaying an incised rhombus with a circle in it (diamond and lotus symbols). There is no urna on his forehead.

14th c., Nepal, Padmapani, gilt c.a.+ stones, 15 cm, kirtimukha in crown, NSM

The mythical creature on the central panel of his crown is likely to be Kirtimukha, topped with a flower inlaid with (some missing) cabochons.

14th c., Nepal, Padmapani, gilt c.a.+ stones, 15 cm, incised dhoti, NSM

His dhoti is incised with a large floral motif and held in place with a  belt studded with clear gemstones forming a large flower. His broad and tight-fitting sash is knotted above knee level.

Same as before, private collection, photo by Christie's.

Same as before, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Unlike the Newari sculptures made in the Kathmandu Valley, this image is more rigid, has marked knee caps, a plain dhoti and lapis lazuli powder in its hair.

14th c., Nepal, Padmapani, gilt c.a.+gems, 32,5 cm, thick lotus, Christie's

The deity holds a multi-layered lotus flower only partly open. The central panel of his crown is decorated with Kirtimukha and gemstones. There is a rectangular urna on his forehead.

14th-15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

14th-15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

14th-15th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, gilt cop. or c.a., 29,2 cm, Kirtimukha, Rijksmuseum

On this example, also with Kirtimukha and gemstones on his crown, we will notice the unusual floral earrings used as hoops.

14th-15th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, gilt cop. or c.a., 29,2 cm, gem in hand, Rijksmuseum

There is an incised rhombus and a small gem in the palm of his hand. He wears a short dhoti decorated with an incised floral motif and held in place with the usual belt and sash knotted to one side, and princely jewellery including rings on his left hand.

14th century circa, Nepal, bodhisattva, copper alloy, at the Capital Museum in Beijing, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

Circa 14th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, copper alloy, at the Capital Museum in Beijing, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is almost certainly Avalokiteshvara although the absence of a lotus and the fact that his left hand is doing the tarjani mudra leaves room for doubt as to whether this is the padmapani form.

14th cir., Nepal, Padmapani prob., brass, tarjani+varada, small object in palm, Capital Museum in Beijing on HAR

But the right hand is held in the varada mudra and displays an incised diamond and a small gem, as on the previous image.

 

 

Padmapani, early Malla period (5)

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper and stone inlay, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper and stone inlay, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Avalokiteshvara, especially in his padmapani form, is the bodhisattva most often depicted in Nepalese (and Tibetan) sculptures – usually with his right hand doing the varada mudra. This one displays a lotus flower embossed in the palm of his hand.

13th-14th century, same as before, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

13th-14th century, same as before, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (USA).

On other occasions there is a rhombus (diamond) in his palm – as on this sculpture with rather rigid legs and marked knee caps.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper with stone inlay, published in Cast for Eternity on asianart.com,

13th-14th century, Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper with stone inlay, published in Cast for Eternity on asianart.com.

Richly gilt and inlaid with stones, his body more fleshy and depicted in the elegant tribangha pose that makes it look alive and natural, his hair dyed black, this Padmapani  is typical of the works produced by Newar artists in the Kathmandu Valley. He is adorned with princely jewellery, a beaded sacred thread, studded belt and  broad sash knotted high up on the left hip. His short dhoti is decorated with a stippled floral motif and an incised hem. There is a clear stone cabochon at the centre of his earrings, armbands, floral anklets and eight-petal lotus.

Same as before, at the Fondation Alain Bordier (Switzerland).

Same as before, gilt copper and stones, at the Fondation Alain Bordier (Switzerland).

In most cases the pedestal and/or the lotus are missing or partly broken, but we can see how the lotus is normally attached to the base and passes through the left hand of the bodhisattva before being fastened to his elbow.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, published by Rossi & Rossi.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy, published by Rossi & Rossi.

The sash is not always knotted on one side.

14th century, same as before, at the Freer Sackler Gallery (USA).

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper or copper alloy with gemstones, at the Freer Sackler Gallery (USA).

On early Malla works, the central panel of the crown often shows Kirtimukha. The lotus which the bodhisattva holds in his left hand has between six to twelve petals.

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper with stones, private collection, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper with stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

14th c., Nepal, Padmapani, gilt c.+stones+pig., 26,5 cm, top, Christie's

Sometimes,  the ‘sprouting foliage’ is all that  remains from the Kirtimukha design, and the grotesque face is replaced by an ornate flower or another design.

14th c., Nepal, Padmapani, gilt c.+stones+pig., 26,5 cm, diamond in pal, pendant ribbon, Christie's

The design in  his palm may be a combination of the lotus and the diamond, i.e. a small flower inside a rhombus. His dhoti is usually decorated with an incised floral motif  and held in place with a belt studded with gems and with a long piece of pleated cloth at the front, often described as a pendant ribbon, with a pointed end.

 

Padmapani, early Malla period (4)

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, published by John Eskenazi.

Late 13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, published by John Eskenazi.

This Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form wears large floral earrings and matching armbands. He holds the stem of a twelve-petal lotus with his left hand and has an incised diamond in the palm of his right hand. Unlike works made in the Kathmandu Valley during the Malla period, he wears a tall Kashmiri-style three-leaf crown (with an effigy of Amitabha on the central panel), has a plain dhoti, prominent knee caps, his hair is dyed with lapis lazuli powder (a common practice in Tibet but not in the Kathmandu Valley) and few or no stones have been used for his jewellery.

13th-14th century, same as before, private collection.

13th-14th century, same as before, private collection.

This is a very similar image, without the crescent moon below the effigy of Amitabha and with different rosettes. His dhoti is decorated with a stippled floral motif and incisions, the sash is shorter and we can see the stem of the lotus raising from the base below it. No gemstones have been used for his jewellery.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper, private collection, photo by Christie's.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This plain copper figure of large proportions (almost 89 cm) is of an entirely different style, and a good example of  Newari skills and sense of beauty, despite the broken lotus, missing stones and lost pedestal.

13th-14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, cop., close up, 88,9 cm, Christie's

He  has typically Malla-style facial features and wears a very ornate floral crown inlaid with stones and with Kirtimukha on the central panel. His tall Indian-style chignon is topped with a jewel, some loose strands of hair form several rows of curls over his shoulders, his large earrings were once studded with tiny stones.

13th-14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, cop., chignon with knop, large 88,9 cm, beads, Christie's

He wears two necklaces including  a row of pearls,  a very ornate sacred thread made of beads and flowers inlaid with stones,  large rhombus-shaped foliate armbands.

13th-14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, cop., chignon with knop, large 88,9 cm, belt with pendant ribbon, Christie's

His plain dhoti, is held in place with a belt with a floral design studded with gems (like his bracelets) and a pendant ribbon. It is completed by a broad sash knotted high up at waist level. There is a diamond incised on the palm of his right hand and he wears several rings on his left hand.

13th-14th c., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, cop., chignon with knop, large 88,9 cm, toes, Christie's

Even his toes are exquisitely crafted.

14th century circa, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, parcel gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

Circa 14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, parcel gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is a very similar image, probably contemporary, with Kirtimukha on his crown and an effigy of Amitabha on top of his chignon, painted with cold gold like his face and earrings. He also wears the sash knotted high up on the left side and forming a semi-circle below the sacred cord, two features often seen on 13th and 14th century Nepalese works.

14th c. cir., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, parcel gilt c.a., 34,9 cm, incised dhoti, Sotheby's

His dhoti is incised with a stippled floral motif.