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Guanyin in Meditation
Item No. 16756

18th Century, Buddhist, China
Wood with Polychrome
31" x 17" x 11"
( 78.74 x 43.18 x 27.94 cm)
(H x W x D)

This lovely image of Guanyin sits on a stylized rocky throne in meditation. Her face is framed by black hair looped over her elongated ear lobes, pulled back in a chignon behind a three lobed crown, and extending in tendrils down her shoulders. Her crown contains a deeply carved image of the Buddha Amitabha. Her oval shaped face is carved with a feeling of serenity, with the closed almond shaped eyes are cast downward in contemplation. Her small bowed mouth is highlighted in red pigmentation. The white pigmentation on her face, chest and hands, which are naturally crackled by age, provide a sharp contrast to her intensely colored garment.

The under part of the garment is colored in green with a red trim and is tied above the waist with a ribbon, the outer shawl is bright red with blue borders and long sleeves which extend over her legs and cover the base and is mirrored by the cloth upon which she sits. Her outer blue robe covers her legs, which are in padmasana.

This statue contains numerous symbols relating to the tenets of Buddhism. She sits with her hands in meditation in her lap, her thumbs touching, symbolizing the triratna, or the Three Gems of Buddhism, the Buddha, the Sangha and the Dharma. She holds the Wish-fulfilling Gem, called the “Cintamani" which is said to symbolize Bodhichitta, the mind of enlightenment and compassion. It has the power to “purify the heart and to represent all the treasures of Buddhism, especially the understanding of Buddhist Law which brings freedom from desire and, therefore, satisfaction.” (1) It is also a symbol of bestowing fortune and “capable of fulfilling every wish.” (2)

The face of this piece has been recently pepainted.


Beer, Robert "The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs," Serindai Publications, Chicago, 2004. p. 208. (2)

Cari and Jon Markell, editors, "Masterpieces of Buddhist Art: The Works of Korean National Treasure Master Jin Hyung Lee," Yeojin Gallery of Buddhist Art, Korea, 2007.p 37 (1)

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