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 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).

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.

 

 

 

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Tibet, Khasarpana Lokeshvara

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with silver and gold inlay, at the Newark Museum.

13th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with silver and gold inlay, at the Newark Museum.

This form of Avalokiteshvara, also known as khasarpani, shows him seated with one leg folded and the other pendant, his foot resting on a lotus flower attached to the base. He normally has matted hair, an effigy of Amitabha in his chignon (the above example doesn’t), long strands of hair falling over his shoulders, a garland of flowers, no jewellery, no crown, no antelope skin. His hands do the dharmacakra mudra at heart level. He sometimes wears a meditation belt (to hold the knee during long meditation practice) and has long-stem lotuses on each side of him.

13th century, Tibet, gilt copper, turquoise inlay, cold gold and pigments, private collection.

13th century, Tibet, gilt copper, turquoise inlay, cold gold and pigments, private collection.

Influenced by the Indian Pala-style, this sculpture was made in the style of Aniko, a Nepalese artist. The double lotus base, including the lotus under his foot, is wider and flatter than the original Indian ones. The use of gilding (including the effigy of Amitabha in his headdress) and the painted face and hair correspond to the Nepalese and Tibetan tastes. He has a lotus bud finial on top of his headdress.

13th century, Tibet, brass with cold gold and pigments, at the Beijing Palace Museum

13th century, Tibet, brass with cold gold and pigments, at the Beijing Palace Museum.

He may have his right arm stretched out with the hand in the generosity mudra. On the above figure we can see a lotus incised in the palm of his hand. His lower garment and sash are  incised with a similar motif.

16th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, at the Asia Society museum.

16th century, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, at the Asia Society museum.

This later example was made by a Nepalese (Newar) artist in 1543, as indicated by the inscription on the base.