Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Figure - Guanyin

Guanyin

  • Object:

    Figure

  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1100-1200 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soapstone, carved, with traces of polychrome

  • Museum number:

    A.97-1923

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Soapstone was used at an early date in China to create small-scale Buddhist sculptures. This is an important example in the Museum's collection, which shows the Bodhisattva Guanyin seated with raised knee in the pose known in Buddhist iconography as 'royal ease'. (Guanyin was the Chinese goddess of mercy.) It compares closely with a number of large-scale examples in wood and other materials, and like them may well have been made in the northern half of China in the 12th century. It is of greyish soapstone, but traces of red and green pigment remain visible on the reverse of the figure.

Physical description

Soapstone figure of Guanyi, seated on a rock in the attitude of kingly repose, wearing a diadem, the figure coated with gesso, on which traces of red, green and gold paint remain.

Place of Origin

China (made)

Date

1100-1200 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Soapstone, carved, with traces of polychrome

Dimensions

Height: 15.5 cm

Object history note

Exhibited in Ghent 1979-80

Descriptive line

Figure of Guanyin, carved soapstone with traces of polychrome, China, Song dynasty, 1100-1200

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Clunas, Craig. Chinese Carving. London: Sun Tree Publishing Ltd in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1996. p. 70, fig. 85.

Labels and date

KUANYIN; statuette in steatite. CHINESE; A97-1923.
Sung dynasty (960-1280 A.D.)
H. 4 3/4in., W. 6in.
Bought S.M. Franck & Co. £5.
R.P. Phot. 53670.
The figure is seated on a rock in the attitude of kingly repose, wearing a diadem. The figure has been coated with gesso, on which traces of red, green and gold paint remain. [pre 2005]

Materials

Soapstone

Techniques

Carved; Painted

Subjects depicted

自在坐; 遊戲坐; 觀音

Categories

Sculpture

Collection

East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.