3074
3074

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR

AN IMPORTANT LARGE CARVED WOOD FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA
SONG DYNASTY, 12TH / 13TH CENTURY
Stima
7.000.00010.000.000
Lotto. Venduto 13,840,000 HKD (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO
3074

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR

AN IMPORTANT LARGE CARVED WOOD FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA
SONG DYNASTY, 12TH / 13TH CENTURY
Stima
7.000.00010.000.000
Lotto. Venduto 13,840,000 HKD (Prezzo di aggiudicazione con commissione d'acquisto)
VAI AL LOTTO

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

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Hong Kong

AN IMPORTANT LARGE CARVED WOOD FIGURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA
SONG DYNASTY, 12TH / 13TH CENTURY
the imposing deity rising fom the hips carved from a large hollowed-out tree trunk, dressed in a flowing robe tied with a knotted sash around the chest, and a red sash draped over the shoulders, wearing a pectoral on the chest, the serene face with downcast eyes and full lips, framed by a coral-coloured jasper bead set in the urna and long pendulous ear lobes, the hair swept back in a chignon secured by a lacquered gold diadem and traces of the Amitabha Buddha set in the centre, with traces of red, blue, black and green pigment, the wood weathered around the base and back of the figure
135 by 24 by 41 cm.
53 by 33 by 16 in.
Leggi la scheda di conservazione Leggi la scheda di conservazione

Provenienza(e)

Sotheby's New York, 6th December 1989, lot 72.

Nota a catalogo

This exceptional and magnificent figure represents the Bodhisattva of Compassion and Mercy. The carver has skillfully captured the serenity of Avalokitesvara, who is usually depicted in the Song dynasty as a masculine figure, adorned with worldly accessories such as a bejewelled headdress or tiara and richly ornamented necklaces to emphasise his non-ethereal status.

The deeply carved drapery and the heavy ornamentation, coupled with the preserved pigments, hint at the original sumptuousness and overwhelming visual effect that awaited temple visitors. They would have encountered this image in an elaborate stage set with painted murals covering the walls, along with many other sculptures of deities and arhats, all brightly coloured and gilded.

The finest sculptures of this period were carved of wood, covered with gesso, painted with bright pigments, inset with jewels, and gilded to create elegantly animated, richly adorned figures. Demand for large images such as the present piece led to the development of construction methods involving multiple blocks of wood, assembled after carving with bamboo or wood pins. Many temples from the Buddhist temples of the 11th to 13th centuries survive intact, testimony to the glorious integration of architecture, painting, and sculpture that characterises Buddhist temple art; see a figure of the Bodhisattva Manjusri riding a lion in a similar pose and dress, from the Upper Guangsheng Temple in Zhaochjeng country, Shanxi, datable to c.1150, illustrated in Alexander Soper, The Art and Architecture of China, London, 1968, pl. 77.

Compare closely related seated figures of Avalokiteshvara of slightly smaller size; such as an example in the Avery Brundage collection, illustrated in Rene-Yvon d'Argence (ed.), Chinese, Korean and Japanese Sculpture in the Avery Brundage Collection, San Francisco, 1974, pl. 145; and another, formerly in the Arthur M. Sackler collection, New York, sold at Christie's New York, 1st December 1994, lot 169. Carvings of Avalokiteshvara of this type in various seated and standing positions and clothed in drapery that reveals the chest are known; see a seated figure in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, published in Alan Priest, Chinese Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1944, pl. CXI; another example in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, illustrated in Hai-wai yi-zhen. Chinese Art in Overseas Collections. Buddhist Sculpture (II), Taipei, 1990, pl. 144, together with a standing example, sold in our New York rooms, 6th November 1981, lot 50, and now also in the Cleveland Museum of Art, pl. 146; and a seated figure in the Cincinnati Art Museum, included in Ellen B. Avril, Chinese Art in the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, 1997, pl. 23.

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

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Hong Kong