Eleven-Headed Kannon (Ekadashamukha) : Nanbokuchô period 1336–1392 The eleven-headed form of the bodhisattva Kannon wasone of the first deities of Esoteric Buddhism to be worshiped in Japan. Ten of his heads are in the form of bodhisattvas. The eleventh, the topmost, is that of Amida (Sanskrit: Amitâbha), the Buddha of which Kannon is considered an emanation. The eleven heads symbolize Kannon's ability to see suffering in all corners of the universe and respond with compassion to those in…
Dancing dakini perhpas a perfected female deity holds the Buddhist wheel of wisdom -dharmachakra- in her right hand, flanked by golden fish and surmounted by a conch, symbols of auspiciousness. On paper from a larger sheet (now lost). 18th C. Tibet
Relief Depicting an Assembly of Noblemen, late 7th–8th century. Central Thailand. Lent by Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand (49/2541) | This relief along with two other reliefs (cat. nos. 152 and 153) adorned the stupa at Chedi Chula Pathon, located in the ancient Mon city of Nakhon Pathom. #LostKingdoms
Loving Couple (Mithuna), 1st–2nd century. India (Uttar Pradesh, Mathura). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 1986 (1986.506.11) | Depictions of loving couples are ubiquitous in early Indian art, occurring in stupa gateways and rock-cut shrines.
Portrait of the Indian Monk Atisha, early to mid-12th century. Tibet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of The Kronos Collections, 1993 (1993.479) | The Indian monk Atisha was ordained at Bodhgaya and the abbot of the vast Vikramashila monastery before traveling to Tibet in 1042. This is the earliest portrait of this great scholar; it was done in Tibet several generations after his death. #Buddhism
Garuda, first half of the 7th century. Western Thailand. Lent by National Museum, Bangkok (1406/2504) | The mythical human-bird Garuda is intimately associated with Vishnu, serving as the god’s celestial vehicle, and he also has a generic function as a defender of faith. At the Buddhist site of Khu Bua, Garuda must be understood as a protector of the Buddha and the Buddha’s dharma. #LostKingdoms