A gilt-bronze figure of thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara, Tang – Liao dynasty

唐至遼 鎏金銅千手千眼觀世音菩薩立像

Details

A gilt-bronze figure of thousand-armed Avalokiteshvara
Tang – Liao dynasty
唐至遼 鎏金銅千手千眼觀世音菩薩立像

Height 2¼ in., 5.7 cm.

EXHIBITED
Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2017-2018.

展覽
《Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection》,休士頓美術館,休士頓,2017至2018年

LITERATURE
Beatrice Chan, "Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston", Arts of Asia, January/February 2018, pp 58-65.

出版
Beatrice Chan,〈Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston〉,《Arts of Asia》,2018年1至2月,頁58至65

This rare small gilt-bronze figure depicts Avalokiteshvara in his ‘thousand-arm' form. Avalokiteshvara is the bodhisattva of compassion and protector of the world. Meher McArthur in Reading Buddhist Art, London, 2002, p. 43, states that Avalokiteshvara is the ‘subject of the 24th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, in which he is described as looking in all directions in order to attempt to save all beings from the suffering of the world.' The ‘one-thousand-armed' Avalokiteshvara belongs to esoteric Buddhism with the arms symbolizing his many powers for saving the world and helping followers to gain enlightenment. The central pair of arms is in anjali mudra, the prayer gesture, while the outer arms are in various mudras or hold objects that represent his powers. Lokesh Chandra in The Thousand-armed Avalokitesvara, New Delhi, 1988, p. 48, explains that the thousand-armed depiction of Avalokiteshvara first appeared in Chinese art during the reign of the first Tang emperor, Tang Gaozu (AD 618-626), before being transmitted throughout Central Asia and Japan.
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