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Bodhisattva Sculpture

Abstract

Carved wooden sculpture of the Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (Guanyin). Painted wood. The Bodhisattva wears a beaded necklace that crosses at navel and extends to shins. A third row of beads extends down between the legs. A circular medallion enclosing a diamond pattern is just above the knees on the central axis. Two sashes extend down on either side of the legs. The right hand exhibits an unusual mudra for an image in this style. The left hand holds a drooping flower bud. This is a finely crafted piece, and it is also a puzzle. This is carved in the so-called ""columnar"" style of the Northern Qi dynasty (late 6th century CE), but it cannot be that old. Wooden Buddhist sculpture of that time period is virtually non-existent except for a few fragments found in central Asia. Many surviving wooden Buddhist images date to the Song Dynasty, however they are rendered in a later, and more fluid, naturalistic style radically different from this image. Perhaps this piece is from a later provincial temple in which an archaizing style was deliberately adopted (as was commonly done in the painting tradition)? It could be some kind of modern forgery, but it is highly unlikely. If a modern forger wished to pass of such an image as a Qi dynasty piece he would be an utter fool to make it of wood.

Note

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Administrative Notes

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Dickinson College
PID
coccc:24328
Extent
1472 w x 1512 h, 300 ppi