White-Robed Guanyin

White-Robed Guanyin


late 1200s-early 1300s

Jueji Yongzhong 絕際永中

(Chinese, active around 1300)

inscription by

Zhongfeng Mingben 中峰明本

(Chinese, 1263-1323)

Hanging scroll; ink on paper

Painting: 78.7 x 31.7 cm (31 x 12 1/2 in.); Overall with knobs: 164 x 38 cm (64 9/16 x 14 15/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1978.47.1



Guanyin, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion (Avalokiteshvara, in Sanskrit), reveals himself in many forms. According to Buddhist belief, one such manifestation is the white-robed Guanyin sitting on a rock on the island of Putuo (Potalaka, in Sanskrit), located along the coast not far from Ningbo, in Zhejiang Province, China.

Here, the figure was swiftly drawn in only a few ink lines. The inscription above is by Zhongfeng Mingben, perhaps the most widely respected and influential Chan (Zen in Japanese) master in the Yuan dynasty. The artist’s signature is a single line below on the left: Huanzhu Yongzhong.

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