A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF GUANYIN IN A GROTTO
Song dynastyCast clad in a dhoti and scarf, adorned with a necklace and a tiara fronting the high chignon, seated in lalitasana on a separately cast platform with removable stylized grotto of pierced and pointed rocks framing the figure like a mandorla, all secured with linchpin tabs to a platform resting on rockwork, riveted to a stepped dais. 8 3/4in (22.2cm) high, overall
宋 鎏金銅坐岩自在觀音像Provenance:A Japanese private collection, by reputeRepresentations of Guanyin prior to the Song dynasty were masculine in appearance. By the Song dynasty, the bodhisattva was more often portrayed with androgynous characteristics, and this pose, with raised right leg and pendant left leg, with the weight supported by the left hand became popular. This posture accentuated the smooth lines and elegant form of Guanyin, giving rise to figures in this pose being called Zizai Guanyin, Guanyin at ease.A similar gilt-bronze figure seated on a stepped four-legged dais in the collection of the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., is illustrated by Hugo Munsterberg, Chinese Buddhist Bronzes, Tokyo, 1967, pl. 69; and another similar example also with a grotto was exhibited by J.J. Lally & Co., Buddhist Sculpture from Ancient China, March 10-31, 2017, cat. no. 19.