Standing Guanyin with lotus bud(?) in left hand, right hand missing, inscribed base which bears the date 571 A.D., translation of inscription filed with purchase blank, from Xi'an in Shaanxi province.

Standing Bodhisattva, 571

Unknown artist, expand_more
G200expand_more

This standing figure is a bodhisattva, a being who has postponed its own passage to nirvana in order to guide others to salvation. Bodhisattvas are often depicted as paired attendants to a buddha. This sculpture, too, was probably once worshipped as part of a triad of sculptures, positioned to either the left or right of a central icon. This bodhisattva stands on a stone base (the square plinth, two lions, and the lower half of a lotus-shaped pedestal) that was created for a separate sculpture of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Several lengthy inscriptions on the base explain that an original sculpture was created in 570, and then another was installed at the same temple in 581, both utilizing this base. In 574, an emperor of the Northern Zhou dynasty (557–81) prohibited Buddhism in China, and many idols were desecrated. This may be the reason the base has some apparently intentional damage (two of four lions have been removed) and is no longer with its original sculpture. At some later date, the base came to be used for the present bodhisattva. In the early 1900s, it became the first work of Asian art to enter Mia’s collection.

Details
Title
Standing Bodhisattva
Role
Artist
Dimension
76 in. (193.04 cm)
Accession Number
18.5
Curator Approved

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Standing Guanyin with lotus bud(?) in left hand, right hand missing, inscribed base which bears the date 571 A.D., translation of inscription filed with purchase blank, from Xi'an in Shaanxi province.