Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

Avalokitesvara (Guanyin)
Surface: gilded; green patina on worn areas and underneath, and blackish incrustation.
Decoration: details of ornament in low relief. Inscription.

Historical period(s)
Northern Wei dynasty, Period of Division, 518
Medium
Bronze with gilding
Dimensions
H x W x D: 18.6 × 6.9 × 5.1 cm (7 5/16 × 2 11/16 × 2 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1911.132
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Figure

Keywords
abhaya mudra, bodhisattva, Buddhism, casting, China, gilding, Guanyin, lotus, mandorla, Northern Wei dynasty (386 - 534), Period of Division (220 - 589)
Provenance

To 1911
Ta Ge Shang, Beijing, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Ta Ge Shang in 1911 [2]

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

Notes:

[1] See Original Bronze List, S.I. 287, 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 Shang (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Avalokitesvara (Guanyin)
Surface: gilded; green patina on worn areas and underneath, and blackish incrustation.
Decoration: details of ornament in low relief. Inscription.

Inscription(s)

(From the Original Folder Sheet, see Curatorial Remark number 4)
Translation: "In the 3rd year of Hsi P'ing, the Northern Wei dynasty [A.D. 519] Buddhist Lu Ben Chih had this Kuan-yin made in memory of his deceased daughter and wished she might ascend into Heaven. (Note: G.D.G.: The date of the third year of Hsi P'ing should read A.D. 518.)

(From the Original Folder Sheet, see Curatorial Remark number 8)
The inscription reads: "Hsi-p'ing san-nien fo-ti-tzu Lu Pien-chih wei wang nu-erh Ni-erh tsao Kuan-shih-yin hsiang i-ch'u yuan wang-che kao t'ien" [Chn].
It can be rendered: "In the 3rd year of Hsi P'ing (518 A.D.), Buddhist Lu Pien-chih had this image of Kuan-yin made for his deceased daughter, Ni-nu, in hope that the [early demise of the] deceased would be taken into account in heaven.

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

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