Image: 29 1/2 × 15 3/8 in. (74.9 × 39.1 cm)
59 1/2 × 21 1/2 in. (151.1 × 54.6 cm)
Overall with knobs: 59 1/2 × 23 1/4 in. (151.1 × 59.1 cm)
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Not on view
This graceful frontal view of Kannon (Sanskrit: Pandaravasini) emphasizes the deity's dignity and compassion. It derives from Esoteric Buddhist iconography that systematically groups deities into mandalas of the two worlds: the Diamond World Mandala and the Womb World Mandala. White-robed Kannon is one of twenty-one Kannon in the Lotus Court section of the Womb World Mandala. The bodhisattva's pose, with one leg pendent, seems to be a precursor to the more relaxed pose he assumes in the monochrome ink painting of White-robed Kannon in a landscape. Here, Kannon, wearing a delicately decorated white robe and sitting on a white lotus pedestal, conforms to the feminized concept of “Mother Kannon,” an aspect of the deity that was developed further in later medieval worship. Some stiffness of line in the robes is probably the result of copying from a model. More fluid brushstrokes in the lotus petals create a sense of volume, a quality that suggests a thirteenth-century date for this work.
[ Harry G. C. Packard , Tokyo, until 1975; donated and sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Manifestations of the Merciful Bodhisattva: Kannon," 1989.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human and Not-So-Human Figure in Japanese Art," 1996.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Five Thousand Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection," December 17, 2009–June 10, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," September 27, 2014–January 14, 2015.