Art/ Collection/ Art Object

元至正十九年 彩繪木雕觀音菩薩像(柳木胎)
Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

Yuan dynasty (1271–1368)
dated 1282
Wood (wiillow) with traces of pigment; single woodblock construction
a) Guanyin: 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm) b) Inscribed block: H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); W. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm); D. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1934
Accession Number:
34.15.1a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 208
A removable panel in the back of this image gives access to a hollow interior that would have been filled with offerings at the time of the piece’s consecration. The interior surface of the panel bears a date (1282) and a small bronze mirror that functioned as a protective talisman.

The bodhisattva has a rounded physique and stands in a slightly twisting pose, which creates a sense of depth. Both conventions attest to the introduction of Indo-Himalayan sculptural traditions in China in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when the Mongols controlled both China and parts of Tibet. The elaborate coiffure also derives from these traditions.
Inscription: Dated [on inside of back block]: Da yuan guo zhi yuan shi jiu nian si yue geng yin shuo nian ri (The Great Yüan State, Zhiyüan period, 19th year, 4th month, 20th day [this date concords with May 28, 1282]).

Probably Hebei Province

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