Description Avalokiteshvara is a bodhisattva, a divine being who is on the path to becoming a Buddha (“Awakened One”) and helps others on the path toward enlightenment. This multi-armed figure is hollow-cast from an alloy of copper and 5% tin, called bronze. Using computed tomography or CT scans, museum conservators determined that the head, arms, and body were cast in stages and joined using sophisticated metal casting techniques. Avalokitesvara is covered with images of the Buddha, like the ones making up his necklace. Each of these small figures was originally carved or stamped in wax and applied to the model before being cast in bronze. Avalokitesvara also wears arm and wristbands made of a different metal alloy: brass, which initially would have glistened like gold.
- Unearthly Elegance: Buddhist Art from the Griswold Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
Provenance Brahmanical Temple (Bot Phram), Bangkok; Alexander B. Griswold, Monkton, Maryland, July 1949 ; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1992.  Presented to the Breezewood Foundation, December 1960, inv. no. 471
Credit Bequest of A. B. Griswold, 1992
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