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Guanyin (Avalokiteshvara)

A work made of gilt copper alloy.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gilt copper alloy.


Yuan/early Ming dynasty, late 14th century



About this artwork

In its willowy proportions, as well as facial features and dress, this image exemplifies the Chinese manifestation of the princely Indian deity Avalokitesvara as the distinctively feminine Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin). Her necklaces of symmetrical loops and pendants closely resemble those of richly adorned images dating to the late 14th century, which spanned the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279 1368) and China’s return to native rule under the Ming (1368 1644).

This image originally contained a strip of paper inscribed in Tibetan with Sanskrit mantras (ritual chants). Although both Yuan and Ming elites maintained close relations with Tibet, the presence of this sacred record in an elegantly secularized figure is unusual.


On View, Gallery 101A


Arts of Asia


Guanyin (Avalokiteshvara)


China (Object made in)


Made 1350–1400


Gilt copper alloy


35.6 × 15.7 × 8.1 cm (14 × 6 1/8 × 3 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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