Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

The standing Guanyin is elaborately bejeweled and stands on a lotus base. The figure holds a bottle in the right hand and holds something unidentifiable in the left. He wears a diadem with a buddha fihure. The figure stands in a stiff frontal pose, but the head is turned slightly. Several issues make this piece difficult to judge and data, and therefore, scientific testing will be welcome. The problem is that the figure is something of a pastiche with elements from several periods–is it an archaizing piece or a forgery? The jewelry seems pre-Tang in style, but a cloth panel with roundels does not seem correct with the rest of the jewlery. The scarves also do not reflect pre-Tang arrangements, but seem to be more likely to have been derived from Tang models. The size of the figure is too large for the Tang and the face is not characteristic of the period.

Historical period(s)
20th century forgery in the style of the Sui dynasty (581-618)
Medium
Bronze with gilding
Dimensions
H x W x D (overall): 25.5 x 8.5 x 6 cm (10 1/16 x 3 3/8 x 2 3/8 in)
Geography
China
Credit Line
The Dr. Paul Singer Collection of Chinese Art of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; a joint gift of the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, Paul Singer, the AMS Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and the Children of Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2012.9.4333
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture
Type

Figure

Keywords
bodhisattva, Buddhism, China, forgery, gilding, Guanyin, lotus, Paul Singer collection, ushnisha
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

The standing Guanyin is elaborately bejeweled and stands on a lotus base. The figure holds a bottle in the right hand and holds something unidentifiable in the left. He wears a diadem with a buddha fihure. The figure stands in a stiff frontal pose, but the head is turned slightly. Several issues make this piece difficult to judge and data, and therefore, scientific testing will be welcome. The problem is that the figure is something of a pastiche with elements from several periods--is it an archaizing piece or a forgery? The jewelry seems pre-Tang in style, but a cloth panel with roundels does not seem correct with the rest of the jewlery. The scarves also do not reflect pre-Tang arrangements, but seem to be more likely to have been derived from Tang models. The size of the figure is too large for the Tang and the face is not characteristic of the period.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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