Eleven–Headed Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion, 10th century
Bronze; H. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
Purchase, Margery and Harry Kahn Philanthropic Fund Gift, 1987 (1987.146)
Such multi-armed, eleven-headed images of Avalokiteshvara were important to both Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhist practitioners. This kind of representation emphasizes Avalokiteshvara's knowledge as well as his ability to take multiple simultaneous actions on behalf of the devotee.