Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), dated 1282, Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). Wood (wiillow) with traces of pigment; single woodblock construction; a) Guanyin: 99.7 cm, b) Inscribed block: H. 16.5 cm, W. 5.7 cm, D. 2.5 cm. Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 34.15.1a, b. © 2000–2023 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The bodhisattva has a rounded physique and stands in a slightly twisting pose, which creates a sense of depth. Both conventions attest to the introduction of Indo-Himalayan sculptural traditions in China in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when the Mongols controlled both China and parts of Tibet. The elaborate coiffure also derives from these traditions.
A removable panel in the back of this image gives access to a hollow interior that would have been filled with offerings at the time of the piece’s consecration. The interior surface of the panel bears a date (1282) and a small bronze mirror (34.15.2) that functioned as a protective talisman.
Inscribed panel from the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin), dated 1282,.Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). © 2000–2023 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Miniature Votive Mirror, Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). Bronze. Diam. 3.8 cm. Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 34.15.2. © 2000–2023 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.