The present four-armed deity is also known as the Bodhisattva of Infinite Mercy. Gilt-bronze sculptures of this type belonged to a group of Buddhist figures that were produced during the first half of 15th century that clearly displays its influence from Tibetan art. As with the Yuan dynasty, the Ming court retained its close relations with Tibet through a number of diplomatic missions. It is possible that Buddhist gilt-bronzes such as the present figure were made as gifts that were exchanged during such visits. The Yongle Emperor himself was well-known for his devotion to Buddhism, and it was recorded that in 1407 the Emperor invited Halima, the fifth Tibetan hierarch, to officiate a ceremony dedicated to Yongle's deceased parents.
Three examples of similar Sadaksari images are published, the first of the same size from the Berti Aschmann Collection was included in the Museum Rietberg exhibition, On the Path to Enlightenment, illustrated in the Catalogue, no. 53. The second figure from the Ducas Collection but of a smaller size (15 cm. high), was sold in our London Rooms, 31 October 1972, and illustrated by U. von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, p. 521, pl. 146F. The third is also smaller at 15.8 cm. high, illustrated in Buddhist Images in Gilt Metal, Chang Foundation, Taiwan, 1993, p. 75, no. 30. Compare also two figures of this size, the first sold at Sotheby's New York, 26 March 1996, lot 6, and the other sold in these Rooms, 26 April 1998, lot 611.