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Statue of the White Saviour Mother
Statue of the White Saviour Mother
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Cast in bronze, this statue of the White Saviour Mother wears a five-sectioned coronal and has slender eyes and eyebrows and a straight nose. Her lips are lightly compressed and the corners of her mouth curve slightly upward, she looks gentle and charming. She holds a lotus spray in her left hand and forms the wish-answering sign with her right hand as she sits cross-legged on a triangular platform decorated on the upper and lower edges with designs of linked pearls and lotus petals. There is a lotus spray on her left and right shoulders, a necklace in front of her chest, armlets on her arms and sautoir around her body, which are all finely sculptured and inlaid with jewels. With the upper part of her body turned slightly to the side and her head to the right, the statue conveys a strong sense of motion. As the upper part of her body is exposed, she displays a full chest, narrow waist and muscular stomach. The image is strongly characteristic of Nepalese sculpture, which pays close attention to the shape of the human body. With a piece of silk draping diagonally down her shoulder, she wears a skirt with rope-like folds. Both the silk and skirt are carved with flower and grass designs in intaglio and inlaid with jewels, gold and silver. As the statue is highly refined and particular in the use of raw material, in modelling and in the casting and inlay work, it should have been a statue made by the Qing palace in the Nepalese-Tibetan style.

History of the Object
One of the Twenty-one Saviour Mothers, the White Saviour Mother is said to be a representation of GuanyinBodhisattva (Avalokitesvara). Her image is usually in the sitting position with legs crossed. As she is usually portrayed as having one head, two arms and seven eyes on the face, hands and feet, she is also known as the "Seven-eyed Saviour Mother," meaning that she is able to see all the sufferings and hardships in the world and save people from them. For this reason, she is deeply revered among the goddesses in Tibetan Buddhism. She is also one of the "Three Bodhisattvas of Longevity," together with the Honoured and Victorious Mother of Buddhas and Amitabha Buddha, and symbolizes good luck. Her image appears widely in painting and sculpture.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Bronze 
Measurements
Overall height: 72 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
17th Century - 20th Century; Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) 
Function
 
Acquisition
Collection of the Imperial Palace 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Palace Museum, Beijing 
Museum
The Palace Museum 
Credit line
Palace Museum, Beijing 

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