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Bodhisattva, 13th century

Nepal, 1200-1299
Gilt-copper alloy with semiprecious stones
overall: 23-3/4 x 7-1/2 x 4 in. (60.3 x 19.1 x 10.2 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Bodhisattvas are Buddhist deities who have attained enlightenment but have postponed Buddhahood in order to aid others in their quest to reach salvation. Bodhisattva imagery was incredibly popular in Nepal, reflecting the importance of Mahayana Buddhism, which encourages its practitioners to emulate and become bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas can be distinguished from the Buddha by their often luxurious garments, opulent jewelry and ornate crowns.

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