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Guanyin in Her Cave at Putuo with Date Inscription
Item No. 16263

19th Century, Buddhist, China
Lacquer over Wood
45" x 18" x 11.75"
( 114.3 x 45.72 x 29.845 cm)
(H x W x D)

The inscription at the back of this image indicates that it was carved in the 12th year of Jiaqing (1801) for the Yang family, and as such was probably used at the family’s personal altar. It is marvelously carved and rich in iconographic representations associated with Guanyin of the South Sea in her cave on the mountain Putuo. She sits on a platform in the cave covered with rows of cascading leaves, in the position of Lalitsana, royal ease,, with her right knee up and her left folded in front of her body.. Both hands are held in vitarka, the teaching mudra, the right held upward in front of her chest and the right held down above her bended knee. In this manifestation she is the White Clad Guanyin with a crown covered by her hood which extends over her shoulders and down her back.

This composite image contains many of the iconographic symbols associated with Guanyin in Putuo. Her left arm rests on a pair of sutras stacked up, probably the Lotus Sutra with which she is associated. Placed on a ledge to her left is a highly decorated vial which contains the tears of sentient beings and the liquid she dispenses to her devotees as a symbol of her compassion. On her right is a parrot who traditionally attends her in her cave.

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