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Guanyin

  • Object:

    Figure of Guanyin

  • Place of origin:

    Dehua (made)
    China (made)

  • Date:

    1580-1650 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    He, Chaozong (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain with white glaze

  • Credit Line:

    Salting Bequest

  • Museum number:

    C.546-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 146, case 9

This white porcelain figure of Guanyin was made in the town of Dehua in Fujian province, south east China. It was press moulded and finished by hand. The workmanship demonstrated on this figure is of the highest quality as illustrated by the fine details of the figure: the delicate fingers and toes, the draping folds of the robe and the combed hair.

Guanyin (Skt. Avalokitsevara), Bodhissatva of compassion was one of the most popular figure subjects made at the Dehua kilns during the Ming (1366-1644) and early Qing (1644-1911) periods. Guanyin came to be incorporated into Chinese religious life, art and material culture as an important figure in the Buddhist pantheon and was the focus of devotional practices aimed at individual salvation. Guanyin was also worshipped as a protector of mariners and as a bringer of sons. This figure would most likely have been for domestic use and worshipped on a small household altar.

Physical description

Porcelain figure of Guanyin standing on a cloud, wearing a long, hooded robe over a simple skirt, tied at the waist with a cord. Her hair piled on top of her head, decorated with a crown which features the figure of the Buddha in the centre. Worn around her neck a beaded necklace with a central lotus.

Place of Origin

Dehua (made)
China (made)

Date

1580-1650 (made)

Artist/maker

He, Chaozong (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain with white glaze

Marks and inscriptions

Four-character mark 'He Chao zong yin' in seal characters impressed in relief on the back of the figure
The seal of He Chaozong
Translation from Register

Dimensions

Height: 18.75 in

Object history note

For a figure of Guanyin with the mark of Wanli, see Sotheby's Catalogue Thursday 11th November 1937, lot 69.

Descriptive line

Figure of Guanyin, porcelain with white glaze, Dehua, China, 1580-1650, with impressed maker's mark 'He Chaozong yin'.

Labels and date

Figure of Guanyin
Made by He Chaozong
1580-1650

Figures of Guanyin were a popular item at the Dehua factories in Fujian province. Moulded and finished by hand, they sometimes bear the mark of the maker, as in this case.

Porcelain with white glaze
Dehua kilns, south China

Salting Bequest
Museum no. C.546-1910 [2009]
KUAN-YIN
Mark, Ho Chao-tsung yin (the seal of Ho Chao-tsung), impressed in relief.
Made at Te-hua, Fukien province.
17th or 18th century.
C. 546-1910 [pre 2005]

Materials

Porcelain

Techniques

Moulded; Carved; Glazed

Subjects depicted

站立 (人體姿勢); 化佛; 女子; 化佛冠; 服飾; 雲; 赤足; 不二觀音

Categories

Buddhism; Ceramics; Porcelain

Collection

East Asia Collection

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