(Chinese, active early 1600s)
Glazed white porcelain, Dehua ware
Height: 21.9 cm (8 5/8 in.)
Guanyin, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion (Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit), perceives all beings in need of help, and reveals himself in many forms; it is the most revered enlightened being in East Asia. Here, Guanyin is depicted as a woman seated on a rock island, holding a scroll—the symbol of knowledge—in her left hand.
The flow of the figure’s garment and the fine details reveal an exceptionally well-sculpted porcelain figure. This figure bears on its back the rare seal of the sculptor He Chaozong, who ranks among the best 17th-century potters from Dehua in Fujian Province. Dehua porcelain figures were produced for both the domestic and export markets. In China, such a figure may have furnished a house altar or the desk of a scholar.
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