VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bodhisattva Lokeshvara
MA 5063
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This famous work originates from the Transbassac region, in the Shaman, where the lands belonged for a long time to the Khmer, and were only conquered by the Vietnamese in the 17th century. Naturally oriented towards the sea, rich in very ancient archaeological traces, this region seems to have especially benefited from the commercial exchanges that took place on the south east Asian coasts during the early centuries of the Common Era. The traders which established themselves at various points on the delta lands contributed to the Khmer Kingdom of Funan, amassing wealth. A faint echo of this can be found in the Chinese chronicles. Surprisingly well preserved, this large Buddha image bears witness to that affluence. Similar in many respects to the Khmer sculptures in the Phnom Da style, in what is today southern Cambodia, this sculpture was bestowed with the same style of clothing and ornaments found in meridional Khmer art. But, it is hardly surprising that a work originating from this region should display unusual characteristics, such as the treatment of the coronet and the halo, for example, when one considers that the region had more direct links with the outside world than Cambodia does today. The feeling of benevolence and the profound humanity which emanates from this radiant face decked in sumptuous jewelery wonderfully expresses the virtue of Compassion which characterises this Being “bestowed with Enlightement”, which is the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

History of the Object
Discovered in about 1919 during levelling work in the property of a member of the Vietnamese Royal Family. This sculpture came to France through the matrimonial ties uniting the Nguyêns to the Didelot family.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Stoneware 
Measurements
Height 171 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Vietnam; Soc Trang Province, Tan Long 
Geography
Vietnam 
Time period
AD 7th century ~ AD 7th century 
Creation date
7th Century; (?) 
Function
Object of worship in a Buddhist sanctuary 
Acquisition
Transferred from the Louvre Museum’s Asian Arts department’s collections to the Guimet Museum in 1945. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Owned by the French State, Paris, Guimet Museum. 
Museum
Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet 
Credit line
 

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