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

 

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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, Avalokiteshvara – standing (14)

11th century, (Western) Tibet, Guge, Padmapani, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Hanhai Auction

Most Himalayan sculptures of Avalokiteshvara in a standing pose depict him in his padmapani form, holding the stem of a lotus in his left hand. The above does the fear-allaying gesture with his right hand. His Kashmiri-style torso with developed pectorals and lobed abdomen, the tall tripartite crown and his  long garland of flowers secured with rods are all typical of works from the Guge kingdom.

12th century, Tibet or Northeast India, Padmapani, gilt copper alloy with pigments, private collection, photo by Koller

The use of gilding and the absence of silver inlay for the eyes suggest that this Pala-style work was made in Tibet. The cold gold on his face and lapis lazuli powder in his hair indicate it was worshipped there. The narrow lower rim of the base once fitted on a pedestal and the figure may have been part of a set.

12th century, Tibet, Padmapani, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel https://www.auction.de .

A rare image of the bodhisattva holding the stem of a lotus and displaying the gesture to bestow refuge (tip of the ring finger against tip of the thumb), the palm of his hands embossed with a lotus.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Padmapani, private collection, photo by Polyauction

Undoubtedly made by an Indian artist in Tibet, this sculpture includes a flaming arch with a parasol and a stupa at the top as was the custom in Northeast India during the Pala period.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Padmapani, wood, private collection, photo by 25 Blythe Road

The above does the fear-allaying gesture with the right hand.

16th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction.

18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze with cold gold, private collection, photo by Cambiaste.

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (13)

10th-11th c., Western Tibet, Padmapani Lokeshvara, c.a.+traces blue pig., 25,3 cm, incisd dhoti+sash, 13436 har, HK Sotheby's

10th-11th century, Western Tibet, copper alloy with traces of blue pigment and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

One of the features that typifies a group of early West Tibetan sculptures is the tripartite crown made of three triangular foliate panels of more or less equal size.

10th-11th c., Western Tibet, Padmapani Lokeshvara, c.a.+traces blue pig., 25,3 cm, incisd dhoti+sash, detail, 13436 har, HK Sotheby's

Others are the way the garment and accessories are richly engraved with a floral or geometrical pattern, the dhoti being much shorter on one side, the way the thick folds drop at the front in a zig-zag shape. There is a 10th-11th century Avalokiteshvara at the Musée Guimet with a similar belt (see below).

10th-11th century, Western Tibet, brass with silver inlay, at Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

but instead of the usual antelope skin, Sotheby’s item is adorned with a broad sash – most unusual on West Tibetan works of that period.

 

The rim of his crown and his necklace are inlaid with turquoise (missing on the latter).

Undated, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy and cold gold, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi (India), published on Himalayan Art Resources.

In his padmapani form Avalokiteshvara holds the long stem of a lotus in his left hand while the right hand dose the fear-allaying gesture (first item) or the gesture of supreme generosity (above).

15th century, Central Tibet, padmapani Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, private collection.

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (12)

13th c. circa, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, bronze+traces blue pig., 22 cm, water pot+lotus, MC Daffos, aaoarts+Cornette de St Cyr.com

Circa 13th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy+traces pigment, private collection, photo by MC Daffos for aaaoarts/Cornette de St Cyr.

Avalokiteshvara, in his padmapani form, holds the stem of a lotus in his left hand and  has an antelope skin over his left shoulder,  knotted across his chest. Instead of doing a symbolic gesture with his right hand as is customary he holds a water pot. This feature is borrowed from Gandharan art, where Maitreya (and sometimes Avalokiteshvara) is often seen holding a water pot by the neck with his left hand.

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, bronze with turquoise added later, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

A Pala-style padmapani image with the right hand displaying an embossed lotus within an incised diamond.

The artist has given him the pointed nose and stern gaze typical of Pala art, and a squarish face proper to Tibetan works. We may deduce that this sculpture was made by an Indian artists for a Tibetan patron.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara (labelled Manjushri), brass, is or was at the Lima Lakhang in Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

This padpamani wears a three-tiered garment inlaid with copper and silver roundels. There is an antelope skin over his left shoulders, with the legs knotted on the other side rather than at the front. The face is painted with cold gold and pigments, the hair is dyed with lapis lazuli powder.

17th-18th c., Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Arthur Millner.

 

Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (9)

11th-12th century, Western Tibet or Ladakh, Avalokiteshvara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Koller.

Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form, with a doll-like body, wearing a Pala-style low crown and long incised dhoti, his antelope skin worn on the right shoulder instead of the left, his hair gathered into a two-tier chignon topped with a finial, a sash around his hips.

12th century, same as before, photo by Cornette de St Cyr.

On early works from Western Tibet and Ladakh, he may also be depicted with a long floral or foliate garland and a tripartite crown with triangular panels.

Same as before, photo by Pundole’s.

Another variant, on a Pala-style lotus base, with a short striped dhoti decorated with an incised floral pattern and complemented by a sash, a water pot balancing from his right hand, a low crown with oversized bows and ribbons. Most of his accessories, the stem of the lotus and even his knee caps are marked with incisions.