Avalokiteshvara (probably Trailokyavasamkara Avalokiteshvara)
Paintings for the Panchen Lama's temple at Jehol (Chengde)
Artist/maker unknown, Sino-Tibetan
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In this painting, celestial attendants holding auspicious symbols honor a small red image of Amitayus, the Bodhisattva of Limitless Life. At the bottom, Tara, the Goddess of Compassion, appears in both her white and green forms. Nestled on lotus flowers are offerings to the five senses: a conch-shell incense holder for smell, a mirror for sight, cloth for touch, fruit for taste, and cymbals for sound. The presence of Amitayus and the White and Green Taras suggests that this painting is dedicated to longevity rituals. The white figure at the center is most likely a form of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. This work may originally have been part of a set of twenty paintings depicting different forms of this deity.