China, Tang dynasty, late 7th–8th century; gilt leaded bronze, piece-mold cast; H. 9 1/6 in.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fletcher Fund, 1933, 33.91, photo: www.metmuseum.org.
This classic depiction of Padmapani (Lotus Bearer) has pleasingly fleshy features and a full-bodied torso, which are characteristic of the Indian Avalokiteshvara. Also typically South Asian are the lotus held over the left shoulder and the right hand placed in varada mudra. In contrast, the Chinese work is much slimmer and more buoyant; instead of a lotus, the elegant figure carries a willow branch, associated with healing.