Kashmir or Western Himalayas
10th -11th century
7 ¼ in (18.4 cm)
Published: Ray 1986, pp.196-97, fig.10
Framed by nimbus and aureole, the graceful Bodhisattva stands on a lotus atop a stepped and waisted pedestal. The petals of the lotus are plain and elongated, more like the petals of artichokes. The lotus held by his left hand and the effigy of the Buddha Amitabha on the central triangular crest of the tiara are familiar attributes of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
That it is a Kahsmiri-style
figure, as characterized by Ray (citation above), is not doubted, but
whether it was made in Tibet is more difficult to determine. The plastic
characteristics of the figure, with its slim legs and naturalistically
modeled torso, as well as the treatment of the socle, the lotus, the
aureole, and the nimbus, do recall Kashmiri bronzes, but the delineation
of the hands, the flower in the hand, the plain, stiff scarf, the necklace,
and the simplified tiara, lack the sophistication and finesse of bronzes
attributed to Kashmir. Nevertheless, the work does relate generally
to a large group of bronzes believed to be from 10th - 11th century
Kashmir (see Reedy 1997, figs. K74-K78 and K93-K96), though some could
have originated in workshops in contiguous regions (see ibid., figs.
H108 - H111).
all text and images © The Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore