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Sculpture of the bodhisattwa Quan Am, goddess of mercy
MAIP 14787
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The best in the museum's collection of Vietnamese Buddhist sculpture of lacquered wood. Rich iconography joins the high artistic value. The sculpture representing the goddess Quan Am is made of lacquer and gilded wood. It is regarded as valuable because of the materials used. The symbolic representation is also very interesting. The figure is sitting with crossed legs in the “paryan” position . Two of her twelve hands are joined in the prayer gesture “anjali”. Two hands in the gesture “dhjana” are rput down at the legs. The remaining four pairs of hands are bended and spread radially. One finds the following objects in the left hands: the symbol of water, a vessel for scent, a vessel for water and a lotus bud. In the right hands: the symbol of fire, the gesture of “vitarca”, a bird and conch. The Vietnamese goddess Quan Am is equivalent to the Chinese goddess Quan In. Nowadays this figure is adored as a goddess of compassion, as a patroness of children, mothers and sailors.

History of the Object

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
wood; lacquer; gilding 
Measurements
Width 55 cm. Height 85 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Vietnam 
Geography
Vietnam 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
18th century-19th century 
Function
It is a decorative sculpture. Nowadays it adorns the office of the director of the Asia and Pacific Museum. 
Acquisition
Acquired in 1995 from Joanna Barszczewska from Warsaw. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw 
Museum
Asia and Pacific Museum 
Credit line
 

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