Deaccessioned in December 2023 This work of art has been removed from the Museum's permanent collection. Learn more about The Met's collecting practices.

The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Seated in Royal Ease


Not on view

The Buddhist embodiment of infinite compassion, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is rarely represented in the rajalilasana seated posture, which is more associated with rulers and Hindu gods. Monumental metal sculpture represents the apogee of Khmer artistic production, and this is one of few large-scale images from the Angkor period to have survived intact. In Khmer royal cult practices, a close identification between a ruler and his chosen deity was customary; thus this figure, so unusually seated in a king-like posture, may have been intended to serve as both a representation of the bodhisattva and a portrait of the ruler-patron for whom it was commissioned. If not for the representation of the Amitabha Buddha, the spiritual mentor of Avalokiteshvara, in the elaborately coiffured chignon, this realistic image could be mistaken for a secular portrait.

Deaccessioned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art for return to the Kingdom of Cambodia, 2023

#8010. Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion, Seated in Royal Ease

The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Seated in Royal Ease, Copper alloy, silver inlay, Cambodia

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