Seated figure of the bodhisattva GuanyinOn display
Contact us about this object
This image is of Guanyin, or Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva who assists souls to achieve enlightenment. The bodhisattva was constructed in thirteen parts. It was fitted together using mortise and tenon joints, a technique also used in making furniture and buildings. In China, the construction and display of large sculpture both relate closely to architecture. This figure would have occupied a central position towards the rear of a temple hall.
Seated figure of the bodhisattva Guanyin
Date13th century (1201 - 1300)
Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234)
Material and technique
fig-tree wood, with carved decoration, and traces of pigment on a pink gesso ground; mortise and tenon joints
Dimensions172.7 x 93 x 85 cm estimated, max. (height x width x depth)
No. of items
Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund, the Friends of the Ashmolean Museum, and the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, 1982.
Museum locationSecond floor | Gallery 38 | China from AD 800
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Piper, David, and Christopher White, Treasures of the Ashmolean Museum: An Illustrated Souvenir of the Collections, revised edn (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1995), no. 33 on p. 36, illus. p. 37 fig. 33