d5321199l

An important large polychrome wood figure of the watermoon Guanyin. Song dynasty (960-1279). Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010

The deity is seated majestically in Lalitasana, posture of relaxation, the right arm relaxed one the raised right knee, the straightened left arm supporting the figure on its left side above the pendent left leg, wearing a simple shawl exposing the chest and loose robes knotted at the front, a beaded necklace and bracelets, the face with a calm expression beneath the hair tied up in an elaborate chignon, traces of gesso and pigment remaining - 61 1/2 in. (156 cm.) high - Estimate HK$5,800,000 - HK$6,500,000 Price Realized HK$10,180,000 ($1,317,529)

宋 木雕彩繪水月觀音像

觀音像木胎,全身彩繪。眉間白豪相,髮髻高盤,眉清目清秀,面頰豐滿,眼瞼低垂,如在沉思冥想中;上身袒露著帔帛,胸飾瓔珞,臂有寶釧;結遊戲坐姿,右腿支起,右臂放在右膝上,左手掌心撐地,左腿下垂。姿態優美,神態安詳寧靜,猶如觀賞水中之月影,以譬喻佛法色空的義理。

水月觀音為三十三觀音之一,宋元時期供養水月觀音成為時尚,直至明清時期仍可見其影響。唐代著名畫家周昉曾讚美水月觀音「頗極豐姿,全法衣冠還近閭裏。衣裳勁簡,彩色柔麗。菩薩端嚴,妙創水月之體。」此觀音像望之儼然,為宋木雕中之傑作。

此尊觀音原為著名古玩巨商廬芹齋(C.T.Loo)之舊藏,後來分別為藍田山房、德馨書屋所藏。1982年11月19日於紐約蘇富比拍賣,拍品96號;1991年3月18日於香港佳士得拍賣,拍品343號;1997年於臺北國立故宮博物院《雕塑別藏》展中展出,展覽目錄第84號。並著錄於1997年4月臺北國立故宮博物院出版《故宮文物月刊》的封面。

Provenance: C. T. Loo, New York
Sotheby's New York, 19 November 1982, lot 96
Christie's Hong Kong, 18 March 1991, lot 343
The Aurora Foundation
The Dexingshuwu Collection

Literature: Gugong Wenwu Yuekan, The National Palace Museum of Chinese Art, Taipei, Issue No. 189, April 1997 (front cover)

Exhibited: National Palace Museum, Taipei, The Art of Contemplation: Religious Sculptures from Private Collections, 1997, p. 194, no. 84

Notes: A number of these slightly larger than life-size wood figures, seated in this form of lalitasana posture of relation, are known in museum collections around the world. A close example of this remarkably large size given to the British Museum by the National Art-Collections Fund is illustrated in Buddhism: Art and Faith, ed. by W. Zwalf, London, 1985, p. 206, no. 296. Another smaller example (109.2 cm. high) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is illustrated in Hai-wai Yi-Chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections, Buddhist Sculpture II, National Taipei, 1990, p. 147, no. 142. Large wood Buddhist sculptures of this type were produced between the 10th to 14th centuries in northern China's two pre-eminent Buddhist centres of Taiyuan and Wutai Mountain, both in Shanxi province. In this instance, the fleshed out limbs and naturalistic facial features of the present sculpture are distinctive of the Song period, and differ to the delicate-limbed deities of the earlier Tang dynasty.

The modelling of the present figure seated at ease with the left leg pendent is often termed by the name of Watermoon Guanyin or Nanhai Guanyin (the Avalokitesvara of the Southern Seas). Both names refer to the Guanyin residing at Mount Potalak on the southern coast of India, and the imagery was introduced into China with the translation of the Avatamsaka (Huayan) sutra in the early 5th century.

Christie's. The Imperial Sale Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art. 31 May 2010 . Hong Kong www.christies.com