NAUGURAL EXHIBITION: Hong Kong, 23 - 28 May 2007
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Buddhist Works of Art


Ming Dynasty, late 15th-early 16th Century

Height: 42cm

The group consists of Guanyin seated in rajalilasana, the position of royal ease with one arm resting lightly on a raised knee holding a child. Guanyin is bare-chested revealing a three-pronged beaded pendant with a loose robe cloaked over the head and draped around the shoulders decorated at the hem with incised lotus roundels and scrolling lotus borders. She holds a rosary in one hand while the other hand supports the back of the child.

Guanyin (also known as Avalokiteshvara) is one of the most common deities in the Buddhist canon, worshipped in both the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Buddhism as the embodiment of compassion. There are thirty-three known forms of Avalokiteshvara depicted either as male or female. In this example, the deity is portrayed as a maternal figure prayed to as the bestower of children.

Similar Example
A gilt-bronze Guanyin with child example is published in Buddhist images in Gilt Metal, Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1993, p. 95 Catalogue No. 40