Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Date: 8th–early 9th century

Culture: Southern Thailand or Sumatra

Medium: Copper alloy

Dimensions: H. 22 1/4 in. (56.6 cm); W. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm); D. 5 in. (12.7 cm); Wt. est. 50 lbs (22.7 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1982

Accession Number: 1982.64


This four-armed Avalokiteshvara exemplifies the finest qualities associated with the pan-Asian cult of the savior bodhisattva. Through its grace and humanism, the work embodies the qualities of compassion central to Buddhist ethics. It may have been made in Sumatra or in the Malay Peninsula, regions linked by commercial activity in which religious imagery could readily circulate. Chinese pilgrim sources tell of major monasteries that prospered in both areas.

cat. no. 158