Guanyin & Child

Object nr. 566 China, 18th century, c. 1780's Height: 25 cm

Private Collection, The Netherlands

Condition Report available

€ 12,500

This object can be viewed in our gallery.

Additional Information


Guanyin - the Goddess of Mercy -  is the popular feminised form of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, one of the Buddhist deities most favoured in China. Early depictions are of the male Buddhist saint Avalokitesvara (The Lord Who Looks Down), which later morphs into the more feminine form we know today. Serene in both beauty and bearing, she was especially popular during the Song Dynasty (1127-1279).

Guanyin is a bodhisattva, particularly associated with compassion and blessing people with children. For these traits, she is still widely worshiped in Chinese culture, appearing on many art forms, seated or standing,  alone or with a child in her arms. Regally dressed, Guanyin is frequently depicted with a small figure of the Amitabha Buddha in her tiara. Her kindness and compassion are usually reflected in her facial features, often having a gentle downcast gaze and a soft serene smile. Her attributes can include a willow bough (symbolizing Buddhist virtues) or horsetail fly whisk (a symbol of whisking away worldly thoughts and thus sign of spiritual leadership). She sometimes holds the vase for sprinkling the dew of immorality to reduce suffering, prayer beads or less frequently a Lotus Sutra text scroll.


Floris van der Ven