Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (17)

11th or 12th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – Padmapani, brass, private collection, photo by on jstor  

Avalokiteshvara in his ‘lotus bearer’ form, with an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and an antelope skin on his left shoulder, dressed in a richly incised dhoti and adorned with a crown made of three triangular leaves, princely jewellery and a foliate garland typical of early Guge-style works.

Circa 13th century, Western Tibet, Guge, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, 1997.

Another type of crown is the tall Kashmiri-style crown, made of crescent-shaped lotus shoots supporting a floral or foliate ornament.  (see “COMPARING WORKS” > The Early Guge style and related works in the left margin of this blog).

12th century, Tibet, Lokeshvara, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt , 23rd November 2019.

This padmapani with a thin waist and disproportionate torso holds two open lotuses in his left hand. He is adorned with Nepalese-style serpentine armbands and a sash knotted on the left, no antelope skin or buddha effigy.

12th century, Tibet, Lokeshvara, bronze with silver eyes, private collection, photo by Hardt as before, close up here.

A completely different style, reminiscent of early dwarf attendant figures leaning towards the deity they accompany. His left hand does a gesture to bestow patience, normally associated with a rosary, the right hand is not doing any particular gesture, which is unusual. The effigy of Amitabha at the front of his tall crown identifies him as Avalokiteshvara/Lokeshvara.

16th-17th century, Tibet , (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, Arts d’Asie 11th June 2009 lot 271, Paris.

16th-17th century, Tibet , (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, Arts d’Asie 11th June 2009 lot 271, Paris.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, polychrome wood, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s  .

Tibet, Eleven-head Avalokiteshvara (9)

15th-16th century, Central Tibet, 11-head Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Through an inscription on the sculpture we know that this masterpiece was made in the Shigatse area by Sonam Gyaltsen, around 1430, for a Sakya monastery. 

Ekadasamukha Lokeshvara, with nine heads topped with Mahakala’s and Manjushri’s, and eight arms. The main hands are joined before his heart, the upper ones hold a rosary and a lotus, the middle ones hold a wheel and a (missing) bow, the lower right hand is palm out to express generosity, the left one holds a ritual water pot.

16th century, Tibet, 11-head Avalokiteshvara, soapstone, private collection, photo on De Zwaan .

18th century, Tibet, 11-head Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, cast and repoussé, with stone inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A175AS lot 112.

The bodhisattva‘s own heads are often described as three peaceful, three semi-wrathful and three wrathful ones but in Tibet they may be all peaceful.

18th century, Eastern Tibet, 11-head Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A138AS lot 108.

This Chinese-style sculpture shows the wish-granting gem he holds between his main hands.

Circa 18th century, Tibet, 11-head Avalokiteshvara, polychrome wood, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 103 China 2.

15th or 16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze with pigments and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Pundoles.

Vishva Ishvara Lokeshvara, with eleven heads and a thousand arms, his main hands in the same position as above, the others radiating from his body and displaying an eye in each palm.

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – seated (8)

Pala period, (Tibet?), Avalokiteshvara – khasarpani, bronze with silver inlay, private collection, photo on Arman Antiques

A rare brass sculpture of the bodhisattva of compassion with silver-inlaid eyes, seated on a double lotus base with plump petals and coarse beading, his Pala-style chignon topped with a large lotus bud finial, his right hand in the gesture of supreme generosity, the left hand holding the stem of a lotus while doing a gesture to ward off evil. The manuscript tucked in his belt is a singular feature.

The lotus petals at the back of the base are engraved rather than cast.

14th-15th century, Central Tibet, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze, private collection, photo on weart

(Possibly earlier and from Western Tibet?) this brass figure depicts a bodhisattva with a leg pendent, the foot placed on a blue lotus rising from the plinth, his right hand in the fear-allaying gesture, the left hand warding off evil. He is flanked by a blue/night lotus (utpala) and a day lotus.

16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara? (labelled ‘Vairocana’), copper alloy with copper and stone inlay, photo in Antiques Trade Gazette

A Pala-style figure displaying a lotus embossed in the palm of his right hand extended in the gesture of supreme generosity, his matted hair piled in an elaborate chignon topped with a lotus and jewel finial, a sash drawn tightly across his chest.

Circa 18th century, Tibet, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips, private collection, photo on Olympia Auctions .

An example of the ‘late Pala revival’ style, depicting Avalokiteshvara seated on a double-lotus atop a stepped throne recalling the shape of a tortoise.

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – four arms (24)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara Chaturbhuja, gilt bronze, private collection, photo Bonhams .

In Tibet, the one-head and four-arm (chaturbhuja) form of Avalokiteshvara often has his main hands together before his heart, to hold a wish-granting jewel, while the upper hands clutch a rosary and a lotus (missing here) – a form often referred to as ‘Shadakshari Lokeshvara’.

15th-16th century, Western Tibet, Guge, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with silver inlay, collection of the 14th Dalai Lama, photo by R. Steffan in Tibetische Kunstschätze im Exil, St Gallen 1989, nº 30.

The use of brass and silver-inlaid eyes, the Kashmiri-style cruciform navel, the crown with crescents and triangular leaves, the Chinese-style necklace and richly incised fabric gathered in lose folds over the legs are all typical of the late Guge style.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bukowskis 

15th-16th century, Tibet, Sukhavati Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bukowskis

His chignon is sometimes topped with Amitabha’s head.

16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s Australia.

This figure wears a cape decorated with chased clouds and a rice-grain border, a lower garment with bands of scrolling vegetation, a belt with an incised geometrical motif.

15th or 16th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze with pigments and stones, private collection, photo on Pundole’s .

The rosary is always in his right hand (and often folded in an 8-shape).

15th-16th century possibly, Tibet or Nepal, bronze (brass) with turquoise, private collection, photo on Skinnerinc.com  .

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

 

Tibet, Phagpa Lokeshvara (4)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Phagspa Lokeshvara, polychrome wood, private collection, sale 14259 Christie’s, Paris.

A remarkable wood carving of this special form of Avalokiteshvara, standing on a double-lotus pedestal, his left hand placed on his left thigh, the right hand held down in an unusual position.

He has Tibetan facial features and wears a tall tripartite crown with an effigy of himself at the front,  large bell-shaped earrings, a long cloth belt with a floral buckle, a broad sash knotted on one side and with part of the cloth hanging rigidly next to his leg.

Phagpa Lokeshvara, wood, at the Zanabazar Museum in Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia).

Originally labelled ’16th century, Mongolia’ on the Tibetan Mongolian Museum Society’s website and consequently published in the Mongolian section of this blog, this sculpture is fairly similar to the previous one in shape and design and labelled ’19th century, Tibet’ on HAR , which is more likely.

Undated (labelled ’12th century’, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, polychrome wood with turquoise inlay and traces of paint, private collection, photo on Carter’s .

The use of turquoise inlay, the indeterminate effigy on his crown and the painted rather than sculpted facial features suggest a fairly recent date for this bodhisattva, whose small oval face, thin waist and discreet hair buns are closer in style to the original Nepalese sandalwood statue at the Potala than the previous items.

Circa 17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, rock crystal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources  in the Phagpa Lokeshvara section.

Published in a previous post with a photo from Christie’s , this rare sculpture depicts Avalokiteshvara with his left hand on his hip – no lotus – and his right hand in the gesture of supreme generosity, like Phagpa Lokeshvara. However, he has a different hairstyle, crown and earrings and wears a sacred cord, a necklace and matching bracelets.

Tibet, Phagpa Lokeshvara (3)

Undated, Tibet or Nepal, probably wood (with cold gold and pigments), at the Potala in Lhasa, photo in article on asianart.com by Ian Alsop.

One of the many reproductions of the original Nepalese image of Avalokiteshvara thought to have been brought to Lhasa during the 7th century and known as Phagpa Lokeshvara. He has a moon-like face, typical of Tibetan sculptures, and a small raised effigy at the front of his crown.

Unlabelled (Tibet or Nepal, wood with pigments), photo on  HAR 

Also with Tibetan facial features, coiffed with a tall crown made of three thin leaves of equal height, unlike most of the others we have seen so far, his folded hair showing on each side; there is an effigy of himself at the front, a feature unique to this form of Avalokiteshvara. He wears the usual large bell-shaped lotus earrings, knotted sash and floral belt. Two noteworthy ornaments are his long beaded necklace and some armlets placed very low down, possibly to hide the joint at elbow level.

13th century, place of origin unknown, Phagpa Lokeshvara, zitan (red sandalwood), private collection, photo on Sotheby’s

Despite the absence of the corresponding body this rather stern and tight-lipped head is interesting because of the effigy at the front of the crown.

The miniature Phagpa Lokeshvara has soft Tibetan facial features, with large eyes and fleshy lips, and as he doesn’t wear a crown we can see the intricacy of his topknot.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Phagpa Lokeshvara, wood (with traces of gilding), private collection, photo on Koller

We came across one case with the arm out of place and subsequently restored to its original state. Koller tell us that the statue’s right arm has been repaired and this is probably why he is doing the fear-allaying gesture, which does not correspond to this form of Avalokiteshvara.

He has uncharacteristic Chinese-style slanted eyes and eyebrows and wears a plain crown and elaborate lotiform earrings.

17th-18th century, Tibet, gilt wood with polychromy, private collection, photo on Marques Dos Santos 

Standing on a lotus pedestal rather than on a square base, his skin painted with cold gold, his mass of hair bulkier and nearly reaching the tallest part of the crown.

A photo taken at a different angle of what appears to be the same sculpture can be seen on Astamangala . On it, the hair doesn’t seem to go above the tip of the side leaves of the crown and the lotus base hasn’t been stripped. There seems to be painted pattern on his dhoti.

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – four arms (23)

13th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

An early brass sculpture of the most popular four-arm form of Avalokiteshvara, who holds a wish-granting gem at heart level in his main hands, a rosary and a lotus (or lotus bud in this case) in the others.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips, traces of cold gold, private collection, photo on Van Ham 2016  .

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, brass with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Barnebys .

15th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, bronze, private collection, photo on  Hardt 2019

This one has a large effigy of Amitabha on top of his Indian-style braided chignon.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Koller, sale W245AS.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Drouot, sale 10th October 2017.

The antelope skin over his left shoulder is not specific to this form of Avalokiteshvara but appears from time to time. The above has Kirtimukha at the front of his crown.