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.

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Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – unusual forms (3)

Cir. 11th century, Tibet or India, Mahakarunalokeshvara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Nagel

Avalokiteshvara, identified by the effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, seated at royal ease, his right arm over his knee, leaning on his left arm and holding the stem of a lotus.

16th-17th c., Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze+turq., 23,7 cm, floral tiara, incised shawl+dhoti, HK Sotheby's

16th-17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and turquoise, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

A curious  mixture of Nepalese and Chinese features for this bodhisattva seated on a lotus base with an incised rim. He wears a long dhoti and a shawl decorated with stippled lotuses and an incised cloud motif, and is adorned with a headband with a large turquoise-inlaid flower and matching rosettes above his ears. No effigy of Amitabha. 

17th-18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (copper alloy) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Although late works often depart from the prescribed form, the photo of this Chinese-style sculpture may be the wrong way round as he normally leans on his left arm and holds the stem of a lotus in his left hand.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Padmapani, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Hollywood Galleries https://hollywood-galleries.com

This Pala-style sculpture depicts Avalokiteshvara with a third eye and a moon crescent in his headdress (both associated with his simhanada form). He wears a broad sash and long dhoti decorated with a stippled lotus motif and holds the stem of a day lotus to his left and a night lotus to his right.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Padmapani, bronze with silver inlay, private collection, photo on Nagel

He often has a lotus embossed in the palm of his right hand, held in the gesture of supreme generosity.

8th century (or later?), Tibet, Padmapani, copper alloy (brass), private collection, photo by Hanhai auction http://hanhaiauction.com.

This Avalokiteshvara has a large effigy of Amitabha in his Swat-Valley style headdress and a Kashmiri-style flaming halo fastened to his back. The antelope skin has been replaced with a broad sash. The mixture of styles, the crudely rendered fingers and toes and the chiselled effect on the dhoti are associated with the (circa) 18th century.

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – unusual forms (2)

 

15th-16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, metal, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (USA).

The bodhisattva of compassion is seated in the royal ease position (see the new section on leg poses added to the Hand Gestures page in the left-hand column of this blog), his right arm resting over the raised knee, the left arm placed on the lotus base. We can see the skin of an antelope over his left shoulder and an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, two attributes of Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form. He may have held the stem of a lotus, now missing, in his left hand.

16th-17th c., Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, form?, gilt c.a.+turq.+pig., 23 cm, Koller

16th-17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller.

This Avalokiteshvara has no effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, no antelope skin, no lotus, no crown (it may have been lost), and both hands doing the dharmacakra (turning the wheel of dharma) gesture.

17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, also labelled ‘Male on a cow’, by Chöying Dorje, copper and cold gold, is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The rosary in his right hand and the lotus in the other identify this figure as Avalokiteshvara. The very creative 10th karmapa has given him an unusual hairstyle sometimes seen on sculptures of Tara, which consists in gathering all the hair in a bunch worn on one side.

17th-18th c., Tibet, Simhanada Lokeshvara, bronze+paint, 17,5 cm, State Hermitage M

17th-18th century, Tibet, Simhanada Lokeshvara, bronze with paint, at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Rusia).

A rare Tibetan bronze of Avalokiteshvara seated sideways on a cushion, atop a roaring lion crouching and turning his head towards him. To his right, a tridanda (trident made of lotus stalks) with a cobra; to his left, a lotus that supports a skull cup; over his left shoulder, an antelope skin.

Tibet, Khasarpana Lokeshvara (2)

12th-13th century circa, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The major difference between the padmapani and khasarpana (sometimes called khasarpani) form of Avalokiteshvara seated is that the latter has several tiers of matted hair, and whereas in India he wears a very low tiara and princely jewellery, in Tibet, he usually has no crown and no jewellery, only a sacred thread.

13th-14th c., Tibet, Khasarpana Lokeshvara, c.a.+pig., 31,8 cm, foliate finial on piled plaits, Amitabha, geometric motif on dhoti, knotted sash, beaded thread, kartari, 13046 har, NO9478 Sotheby's

13th-14th century, Tibet, Khasarpana Lokeshvara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This form of Avalokiteshvara was particularly popular in India during the Pala period. There are few Tibetan images of him and most of them are a local adaptation of the Indian prototype. The above holds his right hand in the refuge-giving gesture (ring finger pressed against the thumb, other fingers slightly bent). He wears a sash, tightly drawn across his chest, and a short dhoti

There is an effigy of Amitabha in his coiffure and a foliate finial on top of his hair. His eyes are inlaid with silver in the Indian fashion (a small pupil close to the upper lid).

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The garment is decorated with a tiny stippled floral motif and fastened with an incised belt knotted in a very ornate manner at the front.

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – seated (6)

11th century, Western Tibet (labelled Nepal), Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bessie Chen.

Probably part of a triad or a larger set, this image portrays Avalokiteshvara in his ‘lotus bearer’ form, his right hand held out in the gesture of generosity, the other holding the stem of a lotus, a small antelope skin over his left shoulder. He is adorned with beaded jewellery and a sacred thread, a flowing scarf and a tripartite crown with triangular panels typical of Western Tibet.

13th-14th c., Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt c.a., 53,3 cm, tenzingasianart

13th-14th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on http://www.tenzingasianart.com

Probably made by a Newar artist, this harmonious figure is adorned with stone-inlaid accessories and wears a dhoti incised with a floral motif, the folds gathered under the ankle and decorated with a gem.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with stone and glass inlay, at the Seattle Art Museum (USA).

A similar style, with large armbands and matching calf adornments, bracelets, anklets, and rings on his fingers (a feature typical of Newar art).

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – seated (5)

7th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, wood, was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The deity is seated with the right leg pendant, on a lotus base with large petals going upwards, holding the stem of a large lotus in his left hand, the right arm resting over the knee, the hand displaying the gesture of supreme generosity. He wears lotiform earrings, a short necklace and possibly bracelets. The aesthetics correspond to the Nepalese Licchavi period.

10th-11th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with traces of gilding, at the Liverpool Museum (UK).

His right foot resting on a lotus attached to the base (with  2 rows of large round petals more often seen on 16th century works), another lotus to his right, he has an antelope skin over his left shoulder (knotted across his chest), an effigy of Amitabha on his crown, foliate and beaded jewellery, and wears a short dhoti decorated with a stippled floral motif.

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper with cold gold and pigments, was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This Pala-style sculpture depicts him with a low crown and tall braided chignon adorned with an image of Amitabha at the front and a flaming jewel finial.

He wears princely jewellery, a thin flowing celestial scarf…

and a lower garment richly decorated with small geometrical figures. There is a small lotus in the palm of his right hand.

15th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Tensig Asian Art on tenzigasianart.com.

This image marries the Nepalese Malla style with Tibetan facial features and a Chinese-style cross belt and belt. His dhoti is decorated with a floral pattern across the thighs and a matching flouncy hem.

17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with cold gold, made by Chôying Dorge, at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

Apart from the Swat-Valley style lotus pedestal, everything on this sculpture was created the 10th Karmapa, including the water flowing from the water pot, the latter often included in Gandharan images of this bodhisattva.

He wears a crown made of large floral roundels, a matching finial, large floral hoops, bulky beaded jewellery, a realistic antelope skin over his left shoulder, a long crinkle cloth dhoti. The back panel is decorated with flowers, foliage and two peacock hens.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection, photo by Koller.

This one holds his right hand in the fear-allaying gesture.

 

 

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – seated (4)

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, Nyingjei Lam collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, Nyingjei Lam collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

This Nepalese-style image depicts Avalokiteshvara seated in the vajra position on a double-lotus base with very broad petals, one hand doing the gesture of generosity, a lotus embossed in his palm, the other hand resting on the base and holding the stem of a lotus (padma) – one of the bodhisattva’s main attributes.

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

On this variant, he has one leg pendant, foliage on both sides, his left hand at heart level.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

14th-15th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

This is an example of the (Indian) ‘Pala Revival’ style, with the bodhisattva seated in a relaxed posture, one hand over his knee, the other resting on the base and holding the stem of a lotus bud. There is an antelope skin over his shoulder. His long transparent dhoti is held in place with a belt decorated with a floral motif.

17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, brass with cold gold, Pritzker collection on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, brass with cold gold, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This innovative piece, inspired from earlier Kashmiri sculptures, was made by Choying Dorje, the 10th karmapa. Avalokiteshvara is seated on a throne with a back panel decorated with snake-like flames and topped with a sort of naga hood. Two figures (possibly the donors) kneel at the front corners, some nagas are entwined around the narrow part of the pedestal. He holds a lotus bud in his left hand.