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Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Nepal
Sculpture from Kashmir
Buddhist Painting from India, Nepal, and Tibet
Sculpture from Tibet
Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara
Nepal; Transitional period (880-1200), late 10th - early 11th century
Gilt copper alloy with inlays of semiprecious stones
H. 26 3/4 in. (67.9 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, can be identified by the small seated image of the Buddha Amitabha, his spiritual progenitor, in his crown. Although this image of Avalokiteshvara is missing the lotus he usually holds, its original presence is evidenced by a small clasp on his left armband, his open left hand, and by an anchor for the lotus stem which is hidden behind the floral scroll next to his left foot. This sculpture represents one of the earliest extant examples of the use of semiprecious stone inlays to decorate a sculpture. Although only a few stones still remain, originally all the circular depressions in the jewelry would have been filled with multicolored stones. The use of inlays spread from Nepal to Tibet, and such decorative inlays are among the most distinctive features of Himalayan sculpture.
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