Vase with three forms of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Six Dynasties–Sui dynasty, second half of the 6th century. Lead glazed earthenware, height 13,5 cm. National Gallery of Prague, Vu 2934.
The vase is early evidence of the use of ceramics in a Buddhist context. The bulbous body of this small vessel bears three different figures of the bodhisattva of mercy, Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin in Chinese), whose attribute is a bottle with the holy nectar capable of saving supplicants from suffering. The depiction of the bodhisattva on this vase was considerably influenced by Indian models. It is an early type, which preceded the later depiction of Guanyin in the considerably effeminate form, so typical of China.