In the event of a government shutdown, the National Museum of Asian Art will remain OPEN through at least Saturday, October 7, by using prior year funds. Visit for updates.

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2
Download Image IIIF

Terms of Use

Creative Commons

At A Glance

  • Period

  • Geography

    Quyang, Hebei province, China
  • Material

    Bronze with gilding
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 23 x 11.9 x 6.8 cm (9 1/16 x 4 11/16 x 2 11/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    Standing Bodhisattva Lotus holder Guanyin in relief against a flaming "mandorla;" inscription of 32 characters incised on four-legged base.
    Bronze gilded and much worn.
  • Inscriptions

    (H.C. Lovell, 1974) The inscription reads: "Ta Wei Hsing-an erh-nien sui tsai kuei-ssu Chu-lu hsia Ch'u-yang ch'ing-hsin-nu Chao Lu-yuan wai mang tsu-fu mu ching tsao Kuan-Shih yin hsian" [Chn]
    It can be rendered: "In the second year of Hsing-an of the Great Wei Dynasty [A.D. 453], cycle "kuei-ssu," Buddhist Chao Lu-yuan (woman) of Ch'u-yang, in the proximity of Chu-lu, respectfully had this image of Kuan-yin made for her deceased grandparents."
    (See Curatorial Remark number 6)
    The inscription reads: [Chn]
    "Dai Wei Xingan ernian sui zai guisi Julu xia Quyang qingxin nu Zhao Luyuan wei wang zufumu jing zao Guanshiyin xiang" which can be translated: "Great Wei Dynasty, Xingan era second year (453 A.D.), year cycle guisi, the female believer Zhao Luyuan of Quyang, near Julu (present day Hebei), for the sake of her deceased grandparents respectfully had this image of Guanshiyin made."
    (See Curatorial Remark number 8)
    方座的右侧刻有铭文题记曰: transcription by Chang Qing
  • Provenance

    To 1909
    Meh Tuh Kee, Shanghai, to 1909 [1]
    From 1909 to 1919
    Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Meh Tuh Kee, Shanghai, in 1909 [2]
    From 1920
    Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]
    [1] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 98, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.
    [2] See note 1.
    [3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Promise of Paradise (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Promise of Paradise: Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture (December 1, 2012 to January 3, 2016)
    Buddhist Art (May 9, 1993 to August 9, 2011)
    Buddhist Art (May 9, 1993 to September 21, 2004)
    Studies in Connoisseurship 1923-1983 (September 23, 1983 to March 1, 1984)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Meh Tuh Kee (C.L. Freer source)
    Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
  • Origin

    Quyang, Hebei province, China
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Charles Lang Freer
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring