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Title

Eleven headed 1000 armed Avalokiteshvara

circa 1800


Artists

Unknown Artist


About

Avalokiteshvara is the 'bodhisattva' of compassion, remaining in the material world to assist others to escape the suffering of the world by becoming enlightened. The multiple heads reflect different aspects of Avalokiteshvara – three calm, three angry, and at the top that of Amitabha Buddha, with whom Avalokiteshvara is associated. The heads symbolise his ability to counter evil powers with kindness. The first ten heads represent the ten directions (the four cardinal and four inter-cardinal directions, the centre, above, and below). The 1,000 arms surround the figure in a halo, and usually each hand has an eye in the centre. In this form, the 'bodhisattva' sees in all directions and can therefore relieve all beings’ suffering. Protective deities and lamas (a monk of great learning) from the Gelug (Yellow Hat) sect surround him.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2011.


Details


Other Title

Eleven-headed, 1,000-armed Avalokiteshvara


Place where the work was made

Tibet


Date

circa 1800


Media category

Painting


Materials used

thangka; painting on cloth


Dimensions

53.2 x 38.6 cm image; 98.9 x 62.0 cm overall


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter 2006


Accession number

263.2006



Place

Where the work was made
Tibet