Seated Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin)
Unknown artist, Chinese, Dali Kingdom, probably from Yunnan Province, Dali Kingdom, 937-1253 CE or later
Seated Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin), 12th - 15th century
Gilt bronze with traces of pigment
69.5 x 31 x 30 cm (27 3/8 x 12 3/16 x 11 13/16 inches) (full size)
Museum Appropriation Fund 18.266
This seated bodhisattva, often called the bodhisattva of compassion, is Guanyin, one of the acolytes of the Amitabha Buddha in the pure land known as the Western Paradise. Amitabha is depicted in Guanyin’s crown. Guanyin’s role is that of intercessor for worshippers in need of assistance. Scientific analysis has determined that this sculpture was made between 1100 and 1500; however, its place of origin remains problematic. It combines iconographic elements of the Northern Song (960 — 1127) Guanyin in the ‘royal ease’ position but has the slender, bare, and bejeweled torso and pleated skirt typical of Yunnan Province in southwest China.