VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bothisattva
MT-DW-162
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The sculpture presents a young man standing on a small round elevation resting on a four-legged base. Behind the figure at the height of his head there is a round nimbus which rises to a floral shape. The nimbus is being held up by five Asparas. The figure of the Bodhisattva inclines a little bit to the right side; he is holding a bottle in in his left hand; whereas his right hand is bent in and his elbow is raised up to his arm. On the back of the nimbus there is a Chinese engraving.

History of the Object
The image of Bodhisattva of Mercy in China was called Guanin. He sacrificed himself in order to save others and concentrate all his efforts to create good things. In Indian Buddhism there is only a male goodness – Avalokiteśwara. In China, in the beginning, Avalokiteśwara was also known as a man. There is proof of this coming from 8th and 9th century iconographic presentations of Chinese Awalokiteśwara with moustaches. Although about the 8th century, the Bodhisattva Guanin was shown more often as a woman – “who listens to the voices of the world”. At that time new female Avalokiteśwara started to become more and more popular in China. It was believed that it could appease sorrow, console and forgive sins, as well as take care of women and children. The sculpture form in Torun’s collection has a religious character and was created to display in some temples. Unfortunately, there is no information about the place where the sculpture was made and no information about the artist.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Bronze, cast 
Measurements
22, 7 x 12, 3 x 6, 5 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 7th century ~ AD 8th century 
Creation date
7th Century - 8th Century; Tang Dynasty 
Function
Religious 
Acquisition
A gift from a private collector - Tadeusz Wierzejski (1892 – 1974), 1968. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
District Museum, Torun 
Museum
District Museum, Torun 
Credit line
 

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