A Chinese figure of Guanyin decorated with famille verte enamels on the biscuit. Kangxi
The goddess of mercy shown seated, with a small vase and ruyi scepter, her eyes meditative and downcast, her high-top knot under a scarf and a long necklace around her neck.
- Period :
- Kangxi (1662-1722)
- Porcelain (biscuit)
- 9.44 in. (24 cm)
- Reference :
Similar figures of Guanyin are in the collections of the British Museum (1947,0712.313), the Metropolitan Museum of NYC (64.279.9a, b), the Victoria and Albert Museum (C.1275&A-1910), or the Shanghai Museum (Kangxi Porcelain wares from the Shanghai Museum Collection, 1998, p. 232-233).
A similar Guanyin is reproduced by William R. Sargent in Chinese Porcelain in the Conde Collection, Madrid, 2014, p. 164, no. 47
In the context of East Asian Buddhism, Guanyin is a Bodhisattva associated with compassion. The Chinese characters that make up “Guanyin” specifically means “observer of sounds” (guan = observe; yin = sounds), conveying the belief that Guanyin is a listener of suffering sounds, and thus a tenderer of the world’s troubles. For this reason, most depictions of Guanyin in Chinese art feature the Bodhisattva looking downward, as if to watch over the mortal realms.