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Seated Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Guanyin) of Water-Moon Form

Artist Culture
Liao dynasty, 907–1125
or Northern Song dynasty, 960–1127
or Jin dynasty, 1115–1234
11th–12th century
Wood, gesso, and pigment with gilding
Made in
Shanxi province, China, Asia
Sculpture, wood
Current Location
On View, Gallery 231
height: 39 in. (99.1 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
One of the most revered Buddhist deities, the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (known as Guanyin in Chinese) is an enlightened being who remains in the material world to aid in the salvation of all mortals. Here he is portrayed as a princely figure wearing a tiered crown bedecked with jewels. In addition, he is richly clothed in light, diaphanous silks. The relaxed pose, known as “royal ease” (lalitasana in Sanskrit), is derived from pre-Buddhist Indian royalty. The bodhisattva leans on one arm, his knee raised to rest his long, extended arm with sensitively rendered hand and fingers. The figure, also known as the Compassionate and Merciful One, is still and composed, but there is a sense of flowing movement amid swirls of silk and soft scarves that appear to ruffle and sway.
- 1947
C. T. Loo & Co. [C. T. Loo (1880–1957)], Paris, France and New York, NY, USA [1]

1947 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from C. T. Loo [2]

[1] Invoice from C. T. Loo & Co. dated June 6, 1947 [SLAM document files].

[2] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, June 4, 1947.
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