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  • 1979.010 View A

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Late 7th-early 8th century

India, Bihar

Schist (dark gray)

H. 101 x W. 37 x D. 27 in. (256.5 x 94 x 68.6 cm)

Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.10


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This monumental image of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, can be identified by the small image of the seated Amitabha Buddha in his headdress. Amitabha is the head of Avalokiteshvara's spiritual family and his representation in Avalokiteshvara's headdress is one of the most constant features in the imagery of this bodhisattva. The stem that Avalokiteshvara holds in his left hand once supported a lotus, an attribute that identifies this form of the deity as the Lotus Bearer (Padmapani), one of the most common and simplest forms of Avalokiteshvara. The small female attendant standing beside him may represent the donor of the image.