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Guanyin in Cave with Attendants and Donors
Item No. 16210

17th - 18th Century, Buddhist, China
Wood with Pigmentation
33.5" x 12" x 5"
( 85.09 x 30.48 x 12.7 cm)
(H x W x D)

This carved image appears to be extremely rare, as included in the statue seems to be a portrait of the donor who commissioned it, probably with the intention of gaining merit and increasing his positive karma. The work depicts Guanyin in her cave in Putuo, as symbolized by the pierced open work of the craggy surfaces and the growth which extends downward from the top of the cave. The donor stands on top of the cave wearing an official’s robe and cap, hands obscured by a cloth with an indentation near his hands which originally held a table in front of him.

Guanyin sits in the middle of the cave, solidly and serenely in padmasana, both feet faced upward, her eyes gazing slightly downward. Her hands are placed in the lap in dhyanasana with the finger tips touching to form the triangular triratna. She wears a blue crown decorated with floral motifs and centered by a red image of the seated Buddha Amitabha surrounded by an aureole which is silhouetted within a carved arched border. She wears the traditional three part robe with a blue shawl and undergarment and red outer garment. Her robe extends to the top of her pedestal throne which is topped by stylized lotus leaves.

Two levels of attending figures surround her. On the upper level, almost suspended, are her two traditional attendants, the dragon princess on her right holding a flaming gem, and Sudhana on her left with his hands – which would have been clasped in reverence -- missing. Below them are two other generic attendants in long tunics crossed at the neck, hands held under ritualistic cloths.

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