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明/清 陳洪綬 準提佛母法像圖 軸
Bodhisattva Guanyin in the Form of the Buddha Mother

Artist:
Chen Hongshou (Chinese, 1599–1652)
Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date:
dated 1620
Culture:
China
Medium:
Hanging scroll; ink on paper
Dimensions:
Image: 49 1/4 x 19 1/16 in. (125.1 x 48.4 cm) Overall with mounting: 96 3/4 x 24 9/16 in. (245.7 x 62.4 cm) Overall with knobs: 96 3/4 x 28 1/2 in. (245.7 x 72.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art Gifts, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.197
Not on view
In Esoteric Buddhism, the Buddha is understood as having been born of the Law, which is regarded, therefore, as the Buddha Mother. This image depicts the Esoteric manifestation of Guanyin (Avalokiteshvara, in Sanskrit) as the Buddha Mother, a deity with multiple arms and a third "all-seeing" eye. In Chen Hongshou's interpretation, however, the Buddha Mother does not appear as a formidable incarnation of scripture but as a winsome young woman. Her unruly hairdo and the unconventional gesture of clutching strands of hair in her mouth may derive from heroines of contemporary popular theater rather than Buddhist iconography.

This large-scale example of Chen Hongshou's early figure style is a rare complement to the small-scale figures in his early album paintings and woodblock prints. At this enlarged scale, Chen Hongshou's technique and idiosyncratic stylistic sources become readily apparent. His relaxed and fluid drapery lines do not follow the disciplined brush mannerisms of literati models but instead are derived from popular paintings and woodblock prints.
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (3 columns in standard script)

明 陳洪綬 準提佛母法像圖 軸Artist’s inscription and signature (3 columns in standard script)

大明萬曆四十八年正月二十有九日山陰陳至謨曰: “志心頂禮者數年未得瞻仰法身,子盍為我敬圖寳相。” 陳洪綬薰沐寫。

Artist's seals

Lianzi 蓮子
Chen Hongshou yin 陳洪綬印
Zhanghou fu 章候父

Other inscription on the painting

Unidentified artist, 1 column in standard script, undated:

Bodhisattva Guanyin in the form of the Buddha Mother.

準提佛母法像

Colophon

Wu Hufan 吳湖帆 (1894–1968), 3 columns in standard script, dated 1944; 1 seal:

老蓮寫釋道佛象,宗法李龍眠《天王送子》筆意,洵有曹衣吳帶之妙。吾友深通佛學,應與余共愛老蓮畫,有同癖好,閱此圖,定為陳氏極構,且紙潔瑩潤,尤為難得。準提佛母者乃密宗中觀音化身焉,因贈供養為法藏。吳湖帆識。
陳老蓮生于明萬曆廿七年[1599],此作四十八年[1620],時年僅廿二嵗。按萬曆四十八年九月改泰昌元年,未幾天啓即位,翌年為天啓元年也。甲申小寒節日。 [印]: 湖帆審定

Collector’s seals

Wu Hufan 吳湖帆 (1894–1968)
湖帆審定
吳氏圖書記
吳湖帆潘靜淑珍藏印
某景書屋
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