VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (?)
SKAZsz 476 MNW
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Avalokiteshvara, later transformed in China into female goddess, Guanyin is shown in a typical manner for Bodhisattva: standing on a lotus base in Bodhisattva garments, holding characteristic attributes, his body decorated with Bodhisattva ornaments. What makes it unusual is a silhouette of Buddha with two attendants displayed at the waist of Bodhisattva. Most of Avalokiteshvara representations have an Amitabha figure visible on its head. Its subtle and delicate outline and finishing touches reminds one of the best traditions and the highest quality examples in Chinese art. http://cyfrowe.mnw.art.pl/dmuseion/docmetadata?id=2760&show_nav=true

History of the Object
Polychrome wooden sculptures representing Bodhisattva appeared quite early in China, gained popularity, and served as models for later sculpture in the region influenced by Chinese culture. However because these were valuable and perishable objects of impermanent structure, they have never been easily available artifacts. A sculpture of this kind is of extreme rarity and it is highly probable that the way it has appeared in Poland was exceptional too.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Polychrome wood 
Measurements
Width 30,3 x 30 cm Height 123 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 13th century ~ AD 14th century 
Creation date
Probably during Yuan dynasty (1260 - 1368) 
Function
Buddhist statue - an object of worship. 
Acquisition
Provenience unknown, it has been preserved in the collection since 1981. 
Copyright
Copyright Ⓒ National Museum in Warsaw 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum in Warsaw, state property 
Museum
National Museum in Warsaw 
Credit line
Courtesy of the National Museum in Warsaw 

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