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Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Sculpture from North India, 5th-7th Centuries
Jain sculpture
Sculpture of the Pala Period
Stone Sculpture from Hindu Temples
Sculptures from South India, 8th-9th Centuries
Bronze Sculpture of the Chola Period
Art for the Mughal and Rajput Courts
Hindu Temple Hangings
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from the Kushan Period
Two Bodhisattvas from Sri Lanka
Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Sri Lanka; 8th - 9th century
Copper alloy
H. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
This detailed sculpture depicts Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, holding a flask filled with ambrosia in his left hand and making the "fear not" gesture with his right (abhaya mudra). He is identifiable by the seated Amitabha Buddha in his headdress, his spiritual father. His coiffure is finely rendered with piled-up loops of hair on top and braids in the back. This image's small size suggests that it was intended for personal devotion. It was reportedly found in southern Thailand but has been assigned a Sri Lankan origin, although the Shrivijayan kingdom which controlled peninsular Thailand and the Panduranga kingdom of southern Vietnam have also been proposed as the places of origin. The close ties between Sri Lankan and Southeast Asian sculpture, forged by the transmission of Buddhist thought and imagery along the trade routes, have yet to be fully defined by scholarship.
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