Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 208

It is rare to find a sculpture of Avalokiteshvara seated with his legs folded as if in meditation. He is most often shown standing or seated with one leg bent and the other pendent—a pose known as “royal ease.” One exception is when Avalokiteshvara appears in scenes of the Pure Land of the Buddha Amitabha. It is possible that this sculpture was part of such a composition.

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), Wood (foxglove) with pigments, gilding, quartz and carnelian; single woodblock construction, China

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