Word into Art, £16.99
Gilded bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara
16th century AD
A compassionate saviour deity
The right hand of this image is in the gesture of charity (varadamudra). His left hand is empty but may have been intended to hold a lotus. Avalokiteshvara often carries a lotus, hence another name for him: Padmapani or 'the Lotus-holder'.
This very large image was made in gilded bronze in several pieces. Rivets above the waist and above the elbows hold the figure together. Semi-precious jewels are inset in the necklace, belt, anklets and in the forehead in the Nepali manner. Many images made in Nepal were carried to Tibet and further afield.
R. Fisher, Art of Tibet (Thames and Hudson, 1997)
M. Hutt, Nepal: a guide to the art and (Kiscadale Ltd., Stirling, 1994)