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Asian Art Gallery
8 Duke Street, St. James's
London SW1Y 6BN
Tel: 020 7930 0204
Fax: 020 7930 8588
Email: [email protected]

Guanyin Songzhi

Guanyin Songzhi
Ming Dynasty; 16th-17th Century
gilded bronze
H: 34cm (13.5")

This manifestation of Guanyin may originate in the Indian goddess Hariti, and in China acquired the title "Giver of Sons" and hence an unrivalled popularity, which is still in evidence today. The first appearance of this manifestation of Avalokitesvara can be traced to the Tang dynasty.

In this example she wears the flowing robes and high headdress, incorporating a seated Amitabha, common to Guanyin images of this period. The child in her lap symbollically represents her ability as "Giver of Sons", rather than the mother and child, Madonna like,interpretation often attributed to her.

BUDDHIST IMAGES IN GILT METAL, Chang Foundation, Taipei 1993, Cat No: 40
CHINESE BUDDHIST BRONZES, H. Munsterberg, Tokyo 1967, Pl.73

all text & images © Asian Art Gallery

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