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Michael Cohn Asian Antiquities

Bodhisattva Phagpa Lokesvara 
circa 13th Century
Wood with polychrome paint
15.75 in.


Estate of Mrs. LeRoy Davidson 
Published in Kramrisch, S "The Art of Nepal" 
Asia Society, NY 1064 p143#73 illus

A figure of Bodhisattva Phagpa Lokesvara standing in subtle tribbhanga with his right leg slightly flexed. His face is with regal downcast stare. He is wearing a sash passing across his thighs and knotted at the side. He has a ribbed belt with jeweled buckle and long cental sash and wears heavy square foliate earrings in his distended earlobes. There is a tall crown with three projections. His hair is tied in an elaborate topknot spilling out behind the crown. There is a reconstructed left arm that is detachable. As Ian Alsop has indicated, the Phagpa image has certain genre characteristics such as the high three leaf crown, the unusal shaped earrings, a small square base, arm position at the sides of the body, no arm or wrist ornamentation. Examples found 1-Pal, P "The Art of Tibet" pp202 203 
2-Beguin, "Fournier" #5 
3-Vitali, "Arte Himalayana" .pp37-39 9, 10 

Potala Lokesvara refers to the Phagpa Lokesvara. This is the central figure of the three occupying the central alter of Phagpa Lhakhang, which is the oldest and most important one in the Potala. Most probably, this figure is derived from a Nepalese source and has been the inspiration for the genre of figures to follow.(Oriental Art -XLVI, Ian Alsop)

all text, images © Michael Cohn Asian Antiquities.


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