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A LARGE CAST AND REPOUSSÉ GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF ELEVEN-HEADED AVALOKITESHVARA
A LARGE CAST AND REPOUSSÉ GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF ELEVEN-HEADED AVALOKITESHVARA
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PROPERTY OF THE BASS MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITIONS FUND
A LARGE CAST AND REPOUSSÉ GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF ELEVEN-HEADED AVALOKITESHVARA

QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

Details
A LARGE CAST AND REPOUSSÉ GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF ELEVEN-HEADED AVALOKITESHVARA
QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
The bodhisattva stands on a double-lotus base with the principle hands in anjalimudra, and the multitude of others outstretched around him. He wears a diaphanous dhoti inlaid with hardstones, and is adorned with beaded jewelry. The faces, mostly peaceful, are arranged in tiers, and are surmounted by the diminutive head of Amitabha.
34 ¼ in. (87 cm.) high
Provenance
Cesa Atrium, Zurich, 29 August 1969.

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Lot Essay

The present manifestation of eleven-headed Avalokitesvara was quite popular during the Qianlong period, and exhibits strong Tibetan influence. Buddhism was the state religion of the Qing dynasty, and the Qianlong Emperor was a devout practitioner of the faith. Of particular interest to Qianlong was Tibetan Buddhism, and perhaps the pinnacle of his Tibetan Buddhist activities came in 1780, the year in which he celebrated his 70th birthday, when the Panchen Lama came to both Jehol and Beijing, and bestowed upon the Emperor the Mahakala and Chakrasamvara initiations. The rituals for these coincided with his birthday and indicated that Qianlong had formally 'entered the Buddhist realm.' Qianlong's powerful devotion to Buddhism was readily carried over into works of art made during his reign.

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