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Torso with Head of Guanyin
Item No. 16537

16th - 17th Century, Buddhist, China
Wood with Pigmentation
31.5" x 16.75" x 11.5"
( 80.01 x 42.545 x 29.21 cm)
(H x W x D)

This beautifully and sensitively carved upper torso of Guanyin was once part of a life size standing image which was placed in an elevated position in a Mahayana Buddhist temple so the devotees would have looked upward at Guanyin’s serene visage as she stares downward with half closed eyes in an expression of benign concentration and compassion. Her full face, gracefully portrayed with rounded cheeks and chin and small bowed lips, reflect the ideal of beauty at the time of the Early Ch'ing Dynasty in China. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, her pendulous ears reflect her enlightened state and the fact that she hears the cries of all humanity. An indentation in the center of her forehead representing an urna (third eye) may originally have been inset with a gemstone, now gone. In the center of her arched crown is an image of the Buddha Amitabha to whom she was a constant companion.

Her bare chest is ornamented with an elaborately carved jeweled necklace with hanging strands indicating her regal status as a Bodhisattva. A celestial scarf elegantly drapes over the torso emphasizing her beauty and grace.

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