Avalokiteshvara (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

early 11th century
copper alloy with silver and copper inlay
probably Kurkihar, Bihar, India
Overall: 5 5/8 × 4 × 2 1/2 in. (14.29 × 10.16 × 6.35 cm)
The compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara sits here in a yogic pose on a lotus base. His right hand, extended in the gift-giving gesture, offers the hope of salvation to all humankind. His left hand holds the stalk of his principal attribute, a lotus, which is now broken. In his matted locks is a small effigy of his spiritual father, the Cosmic Buddha Amitabha. The sculpture's surfaces are worn from ritual touching, and a halo or nimbus that originally would have been fixed to the lug on his back.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Pala art: Buddhist and Hindu sculpture from Eastern India, ca. 800-1200 A.D, University of Iowa. Museum of Art, 1969. (cat. 11, pp. 23, 30)

Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 29, pp. 126-127)

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