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18th C. Nepalese Gilded Copper Panel - Bodhisattva

South Asia, Nepal, ca. 1750 CE. A gorgeous, gold gilded and lacquered copper repousse panel depicting a standing Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, with four arms raised holding attributes in each hand, standing atop two deer, the entire composition before a full body mandorla and atop a half lotus throne. Beyond the intricate composition, luxurious nature of the materials, and fine artistry exhibited in this example, is the deeply symbolic and sacred iconography of the piece. Avalokitesvara is a Sanskrit name that literally means "the lord who looks upon the world with compassion." The embodiment of ultimate compassion, Avalokitesvara (Quan Yin or Kuan Shih Yin in Chinese) took a vow to liberate all sentient beings of the universe from suffering. The term Bodhisattva is derived from the word bodhi which means enlightenment, and a bodhisattva is an enlightened being who foregoes entering paradise in order to assist others to achieve enlightenment or buddhahood. Bodhisattvas are among the most compassionate beings in the universe, devoting themselves to saving the suffering. Traditionally depicted as less austere than Buddhas with graceful postures and elegant garments, this piece is no exception. Attached to a wood base section with turning pins for easy removal if desired. Size: piece itself measures 7-3/4" x 6" x 1-1/4" (19.7 x 15.3 x 3.2 cm); 9-5/8" high with base.

Provenance: Ex-private northern Colorado collection.

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