Nepal, Avalokiteshvara – standing (3)

7th-8th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara blessing a female devotee, chlorite, at the Jameel Centre, Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (UK).

Avalokiteshvara, identified by the effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, holds the stem of a lotus in his left hand placed on his hip. His right hand is held palm out in a gesture of supreme generosity.

7th-8th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, copper with traces of gilding, made for a niche, photo in an article by Ian Alsop on Asian Art.

The lotus in his left hand and his right hand in the gesture of supreme generosity suggest we are looking at Avalokiteshvara, adorned with a tripartite crown and jewellery.

Possibly 11th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, stone, at the Yangu Bahal monastery, photo by Mary Sheperd Slusser in The Purandi Hoard .

The same bodhisattva holding a large round lotus typical of the Nepalese ‘Transitional Period’, flanked by two devotees, possibly the donors.

11th-12th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara with attendant goddesses, stone, private collection, photo on Capriaquar 

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Nepal, Avalokiteshvara (2)

9th century, Nepal, Avalokitesvhara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Artkhade

Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form, with harmonious body proportions and a flaming nimbus fastened to his shoulders, the sash around his hips and the pointed end of his lower garment reaching the lotus pedestal.

12th century, Nepal (or Nepalese artist in Tibet?), Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper with cold gold and pigment, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, photo on HAR

This elegant figure, who once had the stem of a lotus fastened to his left arm, wears delicate jewellery inlaid with clear gems and has an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and a lotus incised in the palm of his right hand.

13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, same as before, item 57208.

Apart from the body proportions, rich gilding and overall harmony, some distinctive features of the early Malla period are the short dhoti with a chased lotus motif, dainty jewellery with small-size cabochons, rings on the fingers, the voluminous folds at the end of the scarf and the belt.

14th century, Nepal, Padmapani Lokeshvara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 17347.

Unlike those worshipped in Tibet, bodhisattvas made in the Kathmandu Valley for Nepalese patrons usually have black hair and no cold gold or pigments on their face.

17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, ivory, private collection, photo on Bonhams.

A rare image of Avalokiteshvara with 21 heads and many hands, including eight main ones, two of them held before his heart. The other left hands hold a water pot, a bow, a lotus, one right hand holds a rosary, another does the gesture of supreme generosity, all of which matches the 11-head form of the deity. Bonhams suggest this is the shrishtikanta form, unique to Nepal.

Nepal, Avalokiteshvara

13th-14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara (labelled Padmapani), bronze, private collection, photo by Cambiaste.

This rare figure holds what looks like a lasso (rather than a rosary) in his upper right hand, the lower one displays the gesture of supreme generosity and has a lotus embossed in the palm. His upper left hand clutches some lotuses, all of which is corresponds to Avalokita, who is normally seated. The lower left hand may have held a lotus bud.

14th-15th century, Nepal or Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (copper alloy) with gilding, private collection same as before.

Padmapani Avalokiteshvara is identified by the lotus in his left hand and the gesture of generosity he does with his right hand. The hairstyle and the bulky jewellery are unusual for the period and place.

Undated (early Transitional Period), Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper?, private collection, photo cabinet Daffos-Estournel for aaoarts .

14th-15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, (labelled Shiva), bronze, private collection, photo by Cambi Casa d’Aste.

He may also do the fear-allaying gesture with his right hand. We will note the half vajra on his chignon instead of the usual jewel finial.

15th c., Nepal, bodhisattva, gilt bronze, 11,5 cm, cambiaste

15th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, gilt bronze (or plain brass?), private collection, photo by Cambi Casa d’Aste.

The lotus incised in the palm of his right hand and the way he closes the other hand to hold the stem of a lotus (now missing) point to padmapani Avalokiteshvara. He wears a long dhoti, large diamond shaped earrings and a large floral belt  unrepresentative of the Malla period, as are the use of brass and the absence of stone inlay (the figure may have been made by a Nepalese artist in Tibet and/or for a Tibetan patron).

16th c. cir., Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt cop. rep., 40,6 cm, Sothebys

Circa 16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This may be a variant of Avalokita, who sometimes holds a book instead of a lotus in his upper left hand. The other hands hold a rosary and a triratna, the remaining one expresses debate or teaching. He too has a half-vajra finial on his chignon.

Circa 17th century, Nepal (labelled Tibet), Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, at the Indian Museum in Kolkata (India) photo on Dokkasrinivasu.

On rare occasions the four-arm form of Avalokiteshvara holds a conch shell in his main hands. The above holds one in his right hand, close to his heart. This sculpture was probably made in the same workshop as a Nepalese Tara we have seen before (reproduced below for comparison).

16th century, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper alloy and gems, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum.

18th c., Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze+turq., 13,5 cm, Paris sotheby's

18th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

In the most popular of his four-hand forms, he holds a wish-granting jewel between his main hands, close to his heart, a rosary (missing here) and a lotus in the others.

Nepal, Avalokiteshvara – standing (2)

8th-9th century, Nepal, Kathmandu Valley, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

The bodhisattva of wisdom in his padmapani form, holding a large lotus bud and expressing generosity with his right hand. The smooth finish, elegant proportions, sobriety of the work, together with the almond-shaped halo fastened to his back, are typical of the Licchavi period.

12th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Polyauction

During the Transitional Period, the hips and chest expanded a little, the clothes and accessories became more showy, with gilding, chased motifs and stone cabochons. The above has an effigy of Amitabha in his crown.

13th-14th century, Northwest Nepal or Southwest Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (copper alloy), at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart (Germany), photo by Daderot on wikicommons https://commons.wikimedia.org

13th-14th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), gilt bronze with stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

14th c., Nepal, Padmapani, gilt bronze+stones, 16,8 cm, HK Sotheby's

14th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), gilt bronze with stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The tribhanga posture was adopted by Nepalese artists during the Malla period (not always successfully). In most cases, the hand that expresses generosity or reassurance is held well away from the body.

14th-15th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction .

15th-16th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze, private collection, photo by Casa Cambi d’Aste https://www.cambiaste.com .

15th-16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by  Galerie Zacke.

Avalokiteshvara standing on a single lotus base, behind him a typical prabhamandala decorated with attendants, makaras, naga kings and a garuda at the top.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Padmapani Lokeshvara, stone, at the Patan Museum (Nepal), photo from http://sjoneall.net

An impressive figure with flaming arch and halo, adorned with floral accessories and an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, holding the stem of a large lotus flower matched by two shorter lotuses stemming from the pedestal, the front of which is decorated with kneeling figures (devotees and/or donors).

17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with cold gold, at the Asian House of Chicago.

A late Indian-style padmapani with Amitabha in his chignon, adorned with floral jewellery and dressed in a richly incised ankle-length dhoti held in place with a festooned belt with pendants.

16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

The eleven-head form with eight arms, the main hands held at heart level, two of the remaining right hands doing a symbolical gesture, the top one holding a dharma wheel, the left hands holding a lotus, a pot of water and another attribute, possibly a bow (according to textual sources).

16th-17th century, Nepal, 11-head Avalokiteshvara, ivory, at the Stuttgart Museum, photo by Karl Heinrich on  wikimedia

Only five and a half heads and two arms remain on this example made of ivory.

Padmapani, early Malla period (8)

12th-14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Avalokiteshvara, in his padmapani form, wears a one-piece floral crown with large bows, matching accessories, a sacred thread, a sash across his hips and knotted at the back. Standing on an unusual single-lotus base with foliage on each side, he holds the stem of a large lotus in his left hand, the other displays generosity.

Circa 13th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt metal, stone inlay, photo by Tenzig Asian Art.

A seated version, the base missing, with a richly incised dhoti that reaches just below the knee, adorned with accessories inlaid with clear gems and turquoise, holding the stem of an eight-petal lotus with a raised centre.

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, stone inlay, at the Berkley Art Museum (USA), published on wikicommons.

The effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, the antelope skin over his shoulders, the accessories inlaid with turquoise and a red stone (to imitate coral) are more often seen in Tibet, perhaps this item was commissioned by a Tibetan patron.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper and gems, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

14th-15th century, same as before, photo by Christie’s.

This bodhisattva wears a long skirt-like garment typical of the period and a celestial scarf with serpentine ends going upwards in the Chinese fashion.

 

Nepal, early Malla Avalokiteshvara (3)

 

14th-15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This photo may be showing the figure the wrong way round (it sometimes happens);  Avalokiteshvara would normally hold the stem of the lotus with the left hand and display the gesture of generosity with the other. The celestial scarf, tall Indian-style chignon and low tiara are distinctive features of the Nepalese Malla period.

15th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This singular statue depicts a bodhisattva seated at royal ease with his right hand over the meditation belt strapped around his right knee, the left hand leaning on the rim of the lotus base, a curious flower stemming from the base and winding around his left arm. He is adorned with bulky accessories and a sacred thread.

His lower garment is decorated with an incised wavy pattern and a stippled lotus motif.

15th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

In his most popular four-arm form, Avalokiteshvara holds a rosary and a lotus flower in his top hands, the main hands hold a wish-granting jewel at heart level. The inclusion of stone (or glass) cabochons for the accessories and the urna (originally a lock of hair) became widely spread during the Malla period.

15th-16th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, padmapani form, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Cornette de St Cyr.

By the 15th century, the princely jewellery worn by figures with a bodhisattva appearance often includes three necklaces: a choker, a medium length necklace and a long necklace.

Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara

15th-16th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Drouot.

The most popular 4-hand form of Avalokiteshvara is seated with his legs locked, the main hands holding a wish-granting gem against his heart, the other two displaying a (missing) rosary and a lotus flower.

The large urna on his forehead is studded with two tiny stones (a most unusual feature unless they have been added later to substitute the original).

16th-17th century, same as before, photo by Christie’s.

This one has an effigy of Amitabha on top of his chignon.

and a tiny antelope skin over his left shoulder.