Thangka Eleven Headed Avalokiteshvara



Distemper on cloth; recto with identifying Tibetan inscriptions below each figure; an old label at the frame’s lower left corner possibly identifies the previous owner: “John R. Muir Jan 4, 1912”

Himalayan Art Resources item no.4500

Image with red borders: 20 7/8 x 16 3/4 in. (53 x 42.6 cm);

With silks: 33 3/4 x 19 7/8 in. (85.7 x 50.5 cm)


西藏 十八世紀 十一面觀音菩薩唐卡

This finely-executed thangka depicts a classic form of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who postpones his own liberation in order to usher others along the path to enlightenment. His compassionate nature is clearly conveyed through the benevolent expression and delicate facial features. The furry antelope skin, his elaborate jewelry, and each of the “thousand hands” are all meticulously detailed. He is joined by yellow Ratnasambhava and blue Akshobhya on the left, with white Vairocana and green Amoghasiddhi on the right. The inscription immediately below the female teacher at the top left corner reads ‘Gelongma Palmo’, which identifies her as the 10th-11th century Kashmiri nun Bhikshuni Lakshmi. The red-hatted lama at the top right corner is referred to by inscription as the Root Guru. Compare to a closely related thangka of the same subject sold at Sotheby’s, New York, 22 September 2020, lot 303.


Private New York Collection, John R. Muir Jan 4, 1912

Bonham’s New York, Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas


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