The Bodhisattva Padmapani Lokeshvara

Period: Transitional period

Date: 11th century

Culture: Nepal (Kathmandu Valley)

Medium: Copper alloy with gilding and semiprecious stones

Dimensions: H. 23 in. (58.4 cm); W. 10 1/2 in. (25.7 cm); D. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, Bequests of Mary Clarke Thompson, Fanny Shapiro, Susan Dwight Bliss, Isaac D. Fletcher, William Gedney Beatty, John L. Cadwalader and Kate Read Blacque, Gifts of Mrs. Samuel T. Peters, Ida H. Ogilvie, Samuel T. Peters and H. R. Bishop, F. C. Bishop and O. M. Bishop, Rogers, Seymour and Fletcher Funds, and other gifts, funds and bequests from various donors, by exchange, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.220.2


Padmapani or "Lotus-Bearer" is one of the more common epithets of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion. This superbly modeled sculpture stands in a tribhanga or thrice-bent pose. The right hand makes the gesture of giving while the left signifies teaching. Padmapani is identified by the lotus flower resting on his left shoulder. The more restrained modeling of earlier Nepalese bronzes has here given way to a more baroque treatment. The suave, subtly articulated planes of the body contrast with the more intricately modeled jewelry and pleats of the dhoti. His broad face with elongated eyes and eyebrows and small mouth is similarly stylized.