SPECIAL ADVISORY: The Yale University Art Gallery is open to the public on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays and offers access to Yale ID holders on weekdays. Learn More

Asian Art
PrevNext1 of 3
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 3
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext3 of 3
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

late 17th–early 18th century

Gilt bronze

6 1/4 × 5 × 3 5/8 in. (15.9 × 12.7 × 9.2 cm)
Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Fund
2019.66.1
Avalokiteshvara (in Chinese, Guanyin) sits with his right hand resting on his raised right knee and his lowered left hand grasping the stem of a lotus, a posture indicative of relaxation. The lotus and the small Buddha in the diadem confirm the identification of this bodhisattva as Avalokiteshvara. In addition to his saronglike lower piece and scarf, standard clothing for a bodhisattva, this figure wears an antelope skin with a three-dimensional head falling over his left shoulder and legs tied in a loop above his chest. Such animal skins are a long-standing Indian symbol for ascetic practices, as is Avalokiteshvara’s long matted hair.
Geography: 
China
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Chinese
Period: 
Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Kangxi period (1662–1722)
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Sale Koller Auctions, Zurich, Switzerland, June 1999 A111 lot 40; sold to Swiss private collection; sale Koller Auctions, Zurich, Switzerland, Dec 2018, A187AS lot 137; sold to Kapoor Galleries, New York; purchased by the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn. 2019

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.