Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), possibly Northern Song dynasty (960–1127), late 10th–early 11th century. Wood (foxglove) with pigments, gilding, quartz and carnelian; single woodblock construction. H. 94 cm, W. 61 cm, D. 45.7 cm. Fletcher Fund, 33.116. © 2000–2023 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It is rare to find a sculpture of Avalokiteshvara seated with his legs folded as if in meditation. He is most often shown standing or seated with one leg bent and the other pendent—a pose known as “royal ease.” One exception is when Avalokiteshvara appears in scenes of the Pure Land of the Buddha Amitabha. It is possible that this sculpture was part of such a composition.