Stele with the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) and Mahasthamaprapta (Dashizi)

China (Henan province)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207

The two bodhisattvas seen here can be identified by the symbols on their headdresses: the figure on the right is Avalokiteshvara (as indicated by the presence of a small Buddha), and the figure on the left, wearing the symbol of a vase, is Mahasthamaprapta. The latter bodhisattva, who represents wisdom, is not found as an independent icon in Buddhist texts and art. Instead, he is usually part of a triad that includes both Avalokiteshvara and the Buddha Amitabha, who is one of the three Buddhas represented on the reverse of this stele; it seems likely that the two bodhisattvas were meant to serve as their attendants

Stele with the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) and Mahasthamaprapta (Dashizi), Limestone with traces of pigment, China (Henan province)

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