Venerated in all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, White Tara, the bodhisattva of Longevity, is traditionally depicted with seven eyes: an eye in the palm of each hand and foot, and an additional eye on her forehead.
The adoration of brightly colored deities has a long tradition in Tibetan Buddhism and the wide color range available in the famille rose palette made porcelain an ideal medium to create such Buddhist figures. It is, however, probably due to the complicated modelling and repeated firing necessary to achieve such figures, that they remained very rare, and it is likely they were used mainly in the temples of the imperial palace precincts.
A related famille rose figure of a seated bodhisattva, reputed to have come from the Imperial Palace, was included in the Exhibition of Chinese Arts, C. T. Loo & Co., New York, 1941-42, no. 750. Compare, also, the famille rose figure of seated Avalokitesvara sold in our Hong Kong rooms, 26 - 28 October 2001, lot 606.