Nepal, Avalokiteshvara (7)

12th-13th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt

In Nepal this form of Avalokiteshvara rarely has the skin of an antelope over his left shoulder, and on many occasions there is no effigy of Amitabha in his headdress either. The above is therefore identified by the roundish eight-petal lotus in his left hand and the position of his right hand (in this case in the gesture of supreme generosity).

Circa 1250, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), black stone, private collection, photo on Catawiki .

A singular stone example, with a more realistic lotus, an effigy of Amitabha at the front of his single-leaf tiara, serpentine armbands typical of early Nepalese works, and an unusual hairstyle.

13th century, Nepal, Padmapani Lokeshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 19680 lot 718, and on Himalayan Art Resources (dated 14th century).

During the Malla period, portable metal sculptures are richly gilt and inlaid with gems, lotuses have well-defined multi-layered petals and a raised heart, crowns are more elaborate and usually have a small Kirtimukha at the front, with vegetation coming out of its mouth and a separate leaf on each side.

Circa 17th century, Nepal, Padmapani, stone, private collection, photo on Cornette de Saint Cyr .

18th century, Nepal, Padmapani Lokeshvara, wood with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt .

Nepal, Avalokiteshvara (6)

12th century, Nepal, bodhisattva, wood, photo  on vmis  (copyright Regents of the University of Michigan), at the Kwa Bahal in Patan (Nepal).

The effigy of Amitabha in his crown and the position of his hands identify this handsome figure as Avalokiteshvara. His tall three-leaf crown, jewellery (especially the serpentine armbands), and slightly rigid pose are typical of the Transitional Period.

10th-11th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo  here  .

One of many metal examples, with a piece of the lotus still attached to the base. The absence of gilding and the shape of the lotus pedestal (broader than most and with flat roundish petals) are unusual.

12th-14th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), stone, private collection, photo on Cornette de Saint Cyr, Art Tribal Arts d’Asie, 11th June 2018 lot 70.

Another feature associated with the Nepalese ‘Transitional Period’ is the large round eight-petal lotus. We will note the Swat-Valley style fan-shaped hair bunch and rather large head on the above.

16th century, (Nepal), Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt copper repoussé with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Bonhams, London .

We saw two Malla-period Taras (one from the Asian Art Museum and another from the V&A ), with very similar facial features, crown, jewellery, and belt. These figures are modelled with the copper repoussé technique, which calls for detachable jewellery and accessories. In the four-arm form known as Shadakshari Lokeshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion holds his main hands (quite apart in this case) before his heart to support a wish-granting gem. The upper hands hold a rosary (now lost) and a lotus.

Circa 17th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Christie’s, Paris .

This late sculpture is reminiscent of an earlier work at the Cleveland Museum of Art seen previously, although the style of the lotus base goes back to the Licchavi period.

Nepal, Avalokiteshvara (5)

12th century, Nepal, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), wood, photo by François Guénet on AKG Images .

Avalokiteshvara in his most popular one-head and two-arm form, standing on a lotus, holding a long-stemmed lotus in his left hand, the right one displaying the gesture of supreme generosity.

Undated (Malla period, circa 16th century?), Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt metal with turquoise and lapis lazuli, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources .

The same form seated in a relaxed posture, his right foot placed on a (missing) lotus stemming from the base. He is adorned with richly-inlaid jewellery, including large shin ornaments.

Undated (circa 16th century?), Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt metal (with coral and stone inlay), photo on HAR , at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai (India).

In his cintimani form he stands or sits under a tree and holds a jewel, or a jewelled wheel or branch, in his left hand (both missing).

17th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, wood, private collection, photo by Gros-Delettrez, 20th March 2013, lot 126.

Seated on a lotus atop a throne, with a male and a female attendant next to him and two kneeling devotees below.

18th century, Nepal, Hari Hari Hari Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise, private collection, photo on HAR .

This unusual sculpture depicts a rare form of Avalokiteshvara of Hindu origin. A lion on a lotus supports a garuda, Vishnu, and Avalokiteshvara. The latter has one head and six arms, two of his right hands make a symbolical gesture, the others hold various implements – in this case there is a stupa in his upper right hand, possibly a stick in the upper left one, a lotus flower and a water pot in the next ones down.

15th century, Nepal, Chaturbhuja Avalokiteshvara, gilt metal with stone inlay, private collection, photo on HAR .

In his most common four-arm form, seated with his legs locked, his main hand joined before his heart to hold a wish-granting gem, the remaining hands holding a (missing) rosary and a lotus. He wears a foliate tiara, princely jewellery, and a sacred cord. We will note the unusual lotus seat, with a single row of petals and very large beading at the top.

Nepal, Avalokiteshvara (4)

10th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, copper with traces of gilding and pigment, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

The bodhisattva of wisdom is depicted with the stem of a (broken) lotus in his left hand and the other hand in the gesture of supreme generosity. The style of the nimbus, the lotus pedestal, the body proportions, the tripartite foliate crown, the serpentine armbands, the folds of the dhoti, and the sash tied on the left hip are typical of the Nepalese Transitional Period (roughly 850-1200 AD).

14th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt copper with stone inlay, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier as before, at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

Shadakshari Lokeshvara, adorned with Malla-style crown and jewellery, including rings on his fingers.

17th century, Nepal, Bodhisattva of Mercy (Avalokiteshvara), silvered bronze possibly, private collection, photo by Millon-Rivera, Arts d’Asie 7th December 2017, lot 137.

18th century, Nepal, Cintamani Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo and details on Bonhams, Hong Kong .

This form of Avalokiteshvara, when standing, usually holds a bunch of jewel in his left hand while the other displays the gesture of supreme generosity. In this case, the left hand is holding on to a branch of the tree that forms an arch around him. Bonham’s expert points out that he wears a tiger skin dhoti (most unusual for a peaceful entity). She also explains that he is dropping a jewel into the bag of the supplicant kneeling next to him.

Nepal, Avalokiteshvara (3)

Circa 12th century, Nepal, Lokeshvara, copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 1492 lot 177.

A rare Nepalese sculpture of Avalokiteshvara in his Vajradharma Lokeshvara form, always seated, holding in his left hand a (missing) lotus which he plucks with his right hand. The attributes in his upper hands would have been a bow and an arrow.

14th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara Shadakshari, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A191AS lot 105.

15th century, Nepal, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 17719 lot 228, Paris.

In his common 4-arm form the main hands are pressed before his heart to hold a wish-granting gem, the upper hands clutch a rosary and a lotus.

14th century, Nepal, Padmapani Lokeshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s as above, lot 366.

Malla period sculptures rarely depict this form of Avalokiteshvara with an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress or the skin of an antelope over his left shoulder. He is identified by the lotus he holds in his left hand and the way he expresses supreme generosity with his right hand, the palm usually incised or embossed with a lotus or a diamond.

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 

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.