Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin)

citation

Gilt arsenical copper standing figure of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin), slightly worn in places. Figure of Amitabha in headdress; right hand in vitarka mudra, left hand in varada mudra. Wooden stand.

Historical period(s)
Dali Kingdom, 12th century
Medium
Arsenical copper with gilding
Dimensions
H x W: 49.4 x 11.4 cm (19 7/16 x 4 1/2 in)
Geography
China, Yunnan province
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1946.10a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Figure

Keywords
bodhisattva, Buddhism, casting, China, gilding, Guanyin, Tang dynasty (618 - 907), varada mudra, vitarka mudra, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Alice Boney 1901 - 1988

Description

Gilt arsenical copper standing figure of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin), slightly worn in places. Figure of Amitabha in headdress; right hand in vitarka mudra, left hand in varada mudra. Wooden stand.

Label

This figure of Guanyin, the Chinese name for the Bodhisattva of Compassion (Avalokiteshvara), a Buddhist deity of great importance, was made in the Dali kingdom, an independent realm that ruled from 937 to 1253 in an area of southwestern China with links to both Southeast Asia and Tibet. The figure's imagery recalls early Indian prototypes as reinterpreted in Southeast Asia, then brought to the Dali kingdom, where the style was again transformed. Originally a gilded metal nimbus, or body halo, stood behind the figure.

Published References
  • Albert Lutz Angela Falco Howard. Der Goldschatz der drei Pagoden: Buddhistische Kunst des Nanzhao- und Dali-Konigreichs in Yunnan, China. Exh. cat. Zurich. pp. 68-74.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. Chinese Buddhist Bronzes., 1st ed. Tokyo and Rutland, VT. pl. 59.
  • Arts D'Asie. Paris, 2007. p.26.
  • A.G. Wenley. A Radiocarbon Dating of a Yunnanese Image of Avalokitesvara. vol. 2 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1957. p. 508, pl. 1.
  • pp. 92-93.
  • p. 39, fig. 20.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum