Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Seated figure of the bodhisattva Guanyin

  • Description

    This image is of Guanyin, or Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva who assists souls to achieve enlightenment. The bodhisattva was constructed in thirteen parts. It was fitted together using mortise and tenon joints, a technique also used in making furniture and buildings. In China, the construction and display of large sculpture both relate closely to architecture. This figure would have occupied a central position towards the rear of a temple hall.

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia China (place of creation)
    13th century (1201 - 1300)
    Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234)
    Material and technique
    fig-tree wood, with carved decoration, and traces of pigment on a pink gesso ground; mortise and tenon joints
    172.7 x 93 x 85 cm estimated, max. (height x width x depth)
    Material index
    organicvegetalwood fig wood,
    Technique index
    formed carved,
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund, the Friends of the Ashmolean Museum, and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, 1982.
    Accession no.
  • Further reading

    Piper, David, and Christopher White, Treasures of the Ashmolean Museum: An Illustrated Souvenir of the Collections, revised edn (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1995), no. 33 on p. 36, illus. p. 37 fig. 33


    • Second floor | Room 38 | China from 800

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