Monumental Stone Guanyin Head

c. 1800
$38,800 USD
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W: 21.0" D: 20.0" H: 52.0"
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As the embodiment of compassion, Guanyin is the most beloved enlightened being in China. Known as the Goddess of Mercy, she is the female bodhisattva form taken by Avalokiteśvara in eastern Buddhism and is instantly available to all who call upon her with their mind. Though commonly depicted as a woman in Chinese statuary, Guanyin can take many forms depending on the devotee’s needs and is often invoked to encourage fertility or alleviate suffering.

This monumental stone carving of Guanyin depicts the goddess with an elaborate headdress and a relaxed expression known as “royal ease.” Her crown is carved with strings of beads and dotted with scrolled clouds and seated bodhisattvas. Traces of the original vibrant polychrome finish provide subtle color and a wonderfully worn texture. With a full-moon face, downcast eyes, and a faint smile, this impressive Guanyin sculpture commands its surroundings with calm, serenity, and elegance.

Deaccessioned from the MacLean Collection of Asian Art.

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