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A MASSIVE PAINTED WOOD FIGURE OF GUANYIN
This lot is exempt from Sales Tax. THE PROPERTY OF THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART*
A MASSIVE PAINTED WOOD FIGURE OF GUANYIN

LATE MING/EARLY QING DYNASTY, 17TH/18TH CENTURY

Details
A MASSIVE PAINTED WOOD FIGURE OF GUANYIN
LATE MING/EARLY QING DYNASTY, 17TH/18TH CENTURY
The figure of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara shown standing on a lotus base and wearing long layered robes gathered and draped around the hips and torso, the long skirt falling in graceful folds to just above the bare feet, with a foliate and beaded necklace and a long scarf draped over the shoulders and looped over the forearms where they trail to the base, the face with small pursed mouth, looking slightly down with an expression of serene contemplation, the hair swept up into a high topknot behind an elaborate high headdress decorated with floral and scrolling motif and the Amitabha Buddha, with traces of red, green and gold pigment
83 in. (210.8 cm.) high
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This lot is exempt from Sales Tax.

Lot Essay

This finely carved figure retains all of the sense of robust power and majesty seen in figures of Tang, Song and Jin dynasty date. The folds of the drapery in the shawl, scarves and dhoti worn by this figure are reminiscent of that seen in painted wood figures of Song date, but the small, pursed mouth, the slender nose and oblique eyes, combined with the crown are more similar to those found in Ming painted sculpture.

The long scarf draping over the shoulders and trailing to the base appears to be a characteristic of sculpture of the Yuan to Ming dynasty. See, for example, two large painted wood figures of bodhisattvas, each measuring 220 cm., from the Liang-sheng T'ang Collection, illustrated in Ancient Chinese Sculpture II, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, 2000, pp. 94-7, nos. 37 and 38. Similar treatment of the drapery can be found on a smaller figure (measuring 166 cm. high) from the same collection, illustrated ibid., p. 102-3, no. 41.

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