Tibet, Phagpa Lokeshvara – variants (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.

 

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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.

Tibet, Avalokiteshara – standing (16)

A new page called “The Guge style and related works” has been published as a subsection of the “Comparing Works” page, in the left hand side of this blog, including the first image in this post.

11th-12th century, Western Tibet, Guge, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (brass), private collection, photo on Hardt

The metal sculptures made by Kashmiri artists for the Guge kingdom during the 11th and 12th century display the usual athletic chest, narrow waist, cruciform navel, silver-inlaid eyes so characteristic of Kashmiri art, combined with a series of unique features…

such as the large and full face with small fleshy lips and a marked chin, the garland of flowers …

… the richly and deeply incised dhoti, shorter on one side, the prominent knee caps. The above has an effigy of Amitabha at the front of his crown, an antelope skin over his left shoulder, a long-stemmed lotus in his left hand, no armlets. His right hand does the fear-allaying gesture.

12th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

Avalokiteshvara with the right hand doing the gesture of supreme generosity

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

With his left hand doing a gesture to bestow refuge.

12th-13th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, bronze, private collection, photo by Koller.

This brass sculpture, probably made in Western Tibet, depicts him with a small water pot in his right hand and an effigy of Amitabha at the base of his chignon.

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

The treatment of the eyes on this dark bronze is reminiscent of Swat Valley works, and so is the fan-shaped hairstyle.

13th century, Tibet or Ladakh, Avalokiteshvara, bronze on a modern base, private collection, photo by Michael Backman

This one, on the other hand, is very similar to an 11th-12th century padmapani attributed to Ladakh by Koller seen here

17th-18th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, gilt bronze, photo on VAN HAM.

The design of the lotus in Avalokiteshvara’s left hand, the shape of his body and the colour of the gilding are the same as on various early Nepalese sculptures seen in previous posts.

18th century, Tibet, (Avalokiteshvara) Padmapani, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Hardt

This figure with a doll-like body has a large Kirtimukha on the front of his crown, just like a silver Maitreya seen here

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – seated (7)

11th-12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

We saw a Nepalese Vajrabodhisattva (see here ) on a similar lotus base wearing a lower garment with a broad hem deeply incised with a geometrical pattern like this one. On this example the design has also been used for the sash across his chest. He has an effigy of Amitabha at the front of his crown.

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, sale N10033.

Almost encased in his celestial scarf, the flame of enlightened knowledge rising from his chignon, the bodhisattva holds a vase in his left hand and a jewel in the other, at heart level.

12th-13th century, Tibet or Nepal, Lokeshvara, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of gold, private collection, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos for Cornette de St Cyr on aaoarts

The fly whisk in his right hand is normally associated with the six-arm form of Avalokiteshvara. The hole in his head suggests there was an effigy of Amitabha at the front of his elaborate coiffure, which recalls the Indian Khasarpana Lokeshvara form but without the cascade of curls on each side. See below for comparison.

13th century, Tibet, Khasarpani Lokeshvara, photo by Sotheby’s (dated 17th-18th century by Christie’s 2019.

Circa 14th century, Tibet, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), gilt copper alloy with turquoise and coral inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (16)

Circa 11th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

The open lotus in his left hand and the gesture of generosity with the right hand point to Avalokiteshvara, yet the buddha in his crown looks like Akshobhya rather than Amitabha, and there is a wheel of dharma incised in the palm of his hand. His dhoti is decorated with a lotus print and held in place with a festooned belt.

The back of the sculpture hasn’t been gilt and there is a small tang between his shoulders, which probably supported a nimbus.

13th century, (Tibet), Avalokiteshvara, brass, at the Zhol Village museum in Lhasa (Tibet), photo by Petra Mueller on WHAV

This one has an effigy of Amitabha in his crown, made of tall triangular leaves and prominent side bows (reminiscent of the Kurkihar style in the Northeast of India).

14th-15th century, Tibet, Padmapani Lokeshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise, coral and lapis lazuli, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Clearly made by a Newari artist, this work is almost identical to a Padmapani currently at the Walters Art Museum (see here,) but inlaid with coral and hard stones (preferred by the Tibetans). Avalokiteshvara stands on a lotus with a stem, suggesting that the figure was part of a triad, and wears a richly incised dhoti and princely jewellery including several rings, one of them with the turquoise-inlaid cabochon turned towards the viewer. The earrings with lotus shoots studded with stones are typical of Newari art but they also appear on Nepalese/Tibetan Khasa Malla works.

16th century, Tibet, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Nagel.

Avalokiteshvara stands on a moon disc over a lotus placed on a stepped throne with snow lions and a vajra sceptre at the front (usually related to Shakayamuni), dressed in a garment with two layers of multi-pointed fabric with an embroidered hem, adorned with a small tiara, rather bulky jewellery and a celestial scarf.

Circa 17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams, auction 25250.

A rare four-arm form doing a symbolic gesture with one of his main hands and holding a vase and a disc in his upper hands. These attributes are associated with the ‘eye-cleaning’ aspect of the deity but the gesture would normally consist in the ring finger of the right hand touching the palm of the left hand. There is an antelope skin on his left shoulder.

17th century, Tibet, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel.

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (15)

Unlabelled (11th or 12th century?, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with turquoise inlay), private collection, photo on HAR

Very similar to a sculpture at the Norton Simon Museum ( here) and a few others seen in previous posts, this figure displays features associated with the ancient Tibetan kingdom of Guge, in particular the lower garment and belt, the foliate garland with a single flower at the front and the Kashmiri-style facial features with silver-inlaid eyes. He has a small antelope skin over his left shoulder, an effigy of Amitabha on the central leaf of his crown, fastened with long wavy ribbons reminiscent of Gilgit works.

what do you mean?

13th century, Western Tibet, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), copper alloy with pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A highly original sculpture of a bodhisattva with a blue lotus in his left hand, his right hand in the fear-allaying gesture. He wears a short dhoti decorated with an incised semi-circular motif, some jewellery including a necklace typical of 13th century Tibet, a foliate garland unusually worn across the chest like a brahmin’s thread and knotted at the front, a tiara with three leaves set wide apart – his hair fanning out above it in the manner of Swat Valley works. His face (note the unibrow and the Pala-style gaze and sharp nose) is painted with cold gold and red pigment for the lips. His arms and the lotus are secured with rods connected to his body.

Circa 12th century, Tibet Padmapani Lokeshvara, lapis lazuli, private collection, photo on Bonhams

A rare semi-precious stone image of Avalokiteshvara with a tripartite crown and beaded jewellery, holding the stem of a large lotus rising from the base.

His right hand does the gesture of generosity and leans against a blue lotus, probably there to prevent breakage.

Bonhams published this image with concise but helpful information about another two lapis lazuli images, one of them (published recently as an unidentified metal sculpture as per the information given on HAR) identified as ‘Bhutadamara’, to be featured  in the next post.

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, brass, private collection, photo on Bonhams

This one does the fear-allaying gesture with his right hand and has an effigy of Amitabha in front of his chignon (and possibly another at the top?).

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, brass+pigment, private collection, photo on Bonhams

Standing on a small Pala-style lotus and flanked by two stupas, Avalokiteshvara is depicted with an exaggeratedly tall coiffure topped with a lotus bud finial and  adorned with a low tiara tied with large flowing ribbons…

… and jewellery decorated with incisions associated with Western Tibet. He holds an oversized lotus and has a tiny antelope skin over his left shoulder.

Circa 12th century, Western Tibet or Western Himalayas? (labelled ‘Kashmir’), Padmapani, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Nagel.

An unusual sculpture depicting him on a Kashmiri-style lotus base and plinth, wearing a singular tripartite crown with Amitabha at the front and a jewel at the top of each leaf, small and large flowers above the ears, more flowers at the end of his braided hair, plain jewellery, a coarse garland and matching nimbus.

Tibet, eleven-head Avalokiteshvara (8)

17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, zitan wood (red cedar) (with red paint and traces of cold gold), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Avalokiteshvara in his standard eleven-head form, with nine heads stacked in groups of three, plus Mahakala’s, plus Manjushri’s, eight arms, the main hands holding a wish-granting jewel against his heart. His main head is adorned with enormous floral earrings and his dhoti is decorated with a floral print. The upper hands still hold the traditional rosary and lotus, the lower right hand does the gesture of generosity, the left one holds a water pot, the middle hands would have held a wheel and a bow.

17th century or earlier, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, wood with traces of polychromy, private collection, photo by Cornette de Saint-Cyr.

A singular example complete with back plate, on which the bow is preserved.

Circa 18th century, Tibet, Ekadasha Lokeshvara, wood with paint, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

we had only seen another example with Mahakala’s flaming hair forming a halo around Manjushri’s head at the top (see here ).

18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A late parcel-gilt work with short legs, broad hips and squarish feet, wearing a Chinese-style accessories including a scarf with serpentine ends.