Today’s Pick

Guanyin
11th century
Chinese
Northern Song dynasty (960–1127)
wood, gesso, and pigment with gilding
height: 39 in. (99.1 cm)
Place of origin:
China
Guanyin is a Buddhist deity, an enlightened being who remains in the material world to aid in the salvation of all mortals. He is portrayed here as a princely, androgynous man, wearing a tiered crown, bedecked with jewels, and richly clothed in the light, diaphanous silks of an Indian raja. The relaxed pose of Guanyin is known as “great royal ease.” He 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 as if touched by a passing breeze.
Signed:
unsigned
Provenance:
– 1947
C. T. Loo, New York, NY, USA1947 -Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from C. T. Loo [1]
Notes:
[1] Sales invoice dated June 6, 1947 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, June 4, 1947.
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