AN IMPORTANT AND RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA SEATED ON A LOTUS THRONE
200.000 € - 300.000 €
Description:China, 14th ct.
H. 104 cm
Avalokiteshvara is seated in the 'royal ease’ posture or maharajalilasana on a shaped oval base placed on a separate cast lotus throne decorated with many rows of upturned petals, set into the lotus-stem rising from an octagonal fenced pedestal decorated with ocean waves, his right hand is elegantly resting on his raised right knee while the left hand is placed behind his left leg tenderly resting on the base while holding the life-elixir flask or kamandalu, wearing various garments including a dhoti tied at the waist and a wide-sleeved mantle covering both shoulders leaving a part of his chest bare and falling down in large pleats over both legs, its borders finely engraved with scrolling tendrils, his face displaying a serene expression with downcast eyes coloured with black pupils below arched eyebrows running into the nose-bridge, slight smiling lips framed by a moustache, his chin with a goatee consisting of three curls, his hair neatly combed and secured with a diadem decorated with a floral leaf to the front set with a small kamandalu.
Old European private collection, assembled prior to 1980
This bronze is among the few surviving Buddhist figures cast in bronze made in the 14th century during the Yuan or very early Ming dynasty. a short period of transition in style and iconography in Chinese Buddhist sculpture, making the present figure exceptionally rare and important. Compare a similar bronze of Avalokiteshvara in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, illustrated Hai-wai Yi-chen, 'Chinese Art in Overseas Collections, Buddhist Sculpture', National Palace Museum, 1990, p. 178, no. 164. The Asian Art Museum figure shares many common characteristics with the present lot, both figures are seated in rajalilasana, or 'Royal Ease', which appeared to be a fashionable posture between 10th to 14th centuries. It has been suggested that this pose is representing 'the Avalokiteshvara of the Southern Seas', a name drawn from the imagery of the Bodhisattva seated at ease on a rocky shore with his left leg pendent, cf. Gems of Chinese Art from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: The Avery Brundage Collection, Hong Kong, 1983, p. 250.
Wear to gilding, the lotus base with few small repairs, the lotus with small casting holes at the underside