Statuette: Avalokiteshvara (Kuan yin)

Standing Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin)
Surface: gilded, black and reddish brown patina on worn areas.
Decoration: details in low relief and engraved. Inscription. Gilt Bronze.
A.D. 520 by inscription.

Historical period(s)
Northern Wei dynasty, Period of Division, 520
Medium
Bronze with gilding
Dimensions
H x W x D: 26 x 8.6 x 7.4 cm (10 1/4 x 3 3/8 x 2 15/16 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1909.264
On View Location
Freer Gallery 17: Promise of Paradise: Ancient Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Figure

Keywords
Avalokitesvara, bodhisattva, Buddhism, casting, China, gilding, kundika, mandorla, Northern Wei dynasty (386 - 534), Period of Division (220 - 589)
Provenance

To 1909
Ta Ge Chung, Beijing, to 1909 [1]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ta Ge Chung in 1909 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 96, 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.

Previous Owner(s)

Ta Ge Chung (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Standing Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin)
Surface: gilded, black and reddish brown patina on worn areas.
Decoration: details in low relief and engraved. Inscription. Gilt Bronze.
A.D. 520 by inscription.

Inscription(s)

(H.C. Lovell, 1974) The inscription reads: "Shen-kuei san-nien san-yueh i-jih fo-ti-tzu Han Chi Pen-hsien wai mang fu chien hsiao nei ch'in tsao Kuan-shih-yin hsiang i-ch'u." [Chn]
It can be rendered: On the first day of the third month in the third year of Shen-kuei (April 6th, 520 A.D.), Buddhist Han Chi, Pen-hsien, had this image of Kuan-yin made for his deceased father out of filial piety for close relatives.
(See Curatorial Remark number 7)

The inscription reads: [Chn]
"Shengui sannian sanyue yire Fo dize Hanji Benxian wei wang fu jian xiao neiquin zao Guanshiyin Ziang yiqu," which can be translated: "Northern Wei dynasty, Shengui era 3rd year (520 A.D.), 3rd month, 1st day, the Buddhist believer Hanji Benxian for the sake of his deceased father and to be filial toward his relatives had this image of Guanshiyin made."
(See Curatorial Remark number 8)

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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