A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF GUANYIN
THE PROPERTY OF A PHILADELPHIA GENTLEMAN
A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF GUANYIN

TANG DYNASTY (AD 618-907)

Details
A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF GUANYIN
TANG DYNASTY (AD 618-907)
The bodhisattva stands on a double-lotus base with hips swayed, holding a water vessel in the left hand and a willow branch in the right. He is clad in an ankle-length dhoti and adorned with various jewelry and flowing sashes. The face is serene in expression, with downcast eyes, and the hair is tied in an elaborate chignon with locks escaping over the shoulders.
7 ¼ in. (18.4 cm.) high
Provenance
Eldred's, Massachusetts, 27 August 1987.

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Michael Bass
Michael Bass

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Lot Essay

The end of the sixth century witnessed the manifestation of Guanyin, inspired by the Lotus Sutra. Known as Avalokiteshvara, this type of Guanyin is shown either seated or standing and holding a spray of willow and a bottle containing sacred water that can cure all spiritual and physical illnesses.

Comparable Tang-dynasty gilt-bronze standing figures of bodhisattvas are illustrated in Zhongguo liu shi hai wai fo jiao zao xiang zong he tu mu (Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Buddhist Statues in Overseas Collections), vol. 5, Beijing, 2005, p. 936. See, also, the gilt-bronze figure of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara dated 700-750, also with a pronounced narrow waist tapering from the broad chest and shoulders, in the Freer Gallery of Art illustrated by A. Howard, "Highlights of Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in the Freer Collection", Orientations, May 1993, pp. 93-101, fig. 12.

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