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Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, 14th century

Nepal or Tibet, 1300-1399
Gilt copper
24 x 8 in. (61 x 20.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

While the identity of this figure as the Buddhist deity Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is without doubt, since the left hand holds a lotus flower, its place of origin is uncertain. Most of its stylistic features relate to other Nepalese examples, such as the treatment of the figure’s ornate crown and garments; however, a few elements indicate that it may have been cast in Tibet in a Newar workshop. The figure’s robust proportions as well as the mechanical rendering of the robe’s cascading pleats are uncharacteristic of Nepalese bronzes. Instead, figural sculptures from Nepal tend to be slender, with pinched waists and flowing garments.

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