Bodhisattva Guanyin with a willow wand and amphora

Standing Bodhisattva, Guanyin: the gilt-bronze figure stands frontally holding a willow branch in the raised left hand and a flask in the lowered right.

Facial features are simply modelled with details such as the eyebrows and eyelids emphasized by fine lines. The downward cast of the head enhances the diety’s contemplative expression. The headdress is symmetrical with projecting tassels at the front and sides; and longer tassels fall from the back and over the shoulders. A small portion of projecting ornament remains at the back of the head. A necklace and pendant jewelry, accented by a rounded ball at the chest, circular plaques and the foliate disk with projecting tassels at the lower hemline, reflect the Bodhisattva’s divine, princely status. The stole ends, both of which are broken, flare at the lower border, providing a stabilizing silhouette, and the undulating hemline is raised to reveal the deity’s bared feet. In contrast to the plastic modelling that characterizes the forms on the front of the figure, flat forms and fine lines describe the drapery patterns at the back. The small lotus pedestal may not be original. The surface of the figure bears traces of original gilding and areas of greenish accretions.

Historical period(s)
Sui dynasty, 581-618
Medium
Bronze with gilding
Dimensions
H x W x D: 21.5 x 7.1 x 5.1 cm (8 7/16 x 2 13/16 x 2 in)
Geography
China, probably Shaanxi province
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1979.51
On View Location
Freer Gallery 17: Promise of Paradise: Ancient Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Figure

Keywords
bodhisattva, Buddhism, casting, China, gilding, Guanyin, lotus, Sui dynasty (581 - 618), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Standing Bodhisattva, Guanyin: the gilt-bronze figure stands frontally holding a willow branch in the raised left hand and a flask in the lowered right.

Facial features are simply modelled with details such as the eyebrows and eyelids emphasized by fine lines. The downward cast of the head enhances the diety's contemplative expression. The headdress is symmetrical with projecting tassels at the front and sides; and longer tassels fall from the back and over the shoulders. A small portion of projecting ornament remains at the back of the head. A necklace and pendant jewelry, accented by a rounded ball at the chest, circular plaques and the foliate disk with projecting tassels at the lower hemline, reflect the Bodhisattva's divine, princely status. The stole ends, both of which are broken, flare at the lower border, providing a stabilizing silhouette, and the undulating hemline is raised to reveal the deity's bared feet. In contrast to the plastic modelling that characterizes the forms on the front of the figure, flat forms and fine lines describe the drapery patterns at the back. The small lotus pedestal may not be original. The surface of the figure bears traces of original gilding and areas of greenish accretions.

Published References
  • Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology Symposium. Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology Symposium Proceedings Pittsburg. .
  • Thomas Lawton. Orientations vol. 44, no. 1. Hong Kong. p.73, fig. 8.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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