Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)
possibly Northern Song dynasty (960–1127)
late 10th–early 11th century
Wood (foxglove) with pigmentsand gilding; single-woodblock construction
H. 37 in. (94 cm); W. 24 in. (61 cm); D. 18 in. (45.7 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1933
It is rare to find a sculpture of a seated Avalokiteshvara, with his legs crossed in a meditative posture associated with the practice of yoga. The bodhisattva is most often shown standing, and if he is seated, he assumes a pose of royal ease, with one leg bent and the other pendent. An exception, however, is sometimes seen when Avalokiteshvara appears in scenes of the Pure Land of the Buddha Amitabha. It is possible that this sculpture was part of one such larger composition.
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