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HOME : Chinese Art : Masterpieces of Chinese Art : Pair of Lacquered Wooden Sculptures of Bodhisattvas
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Pair of Lacquered Wooden Sculptures of Bodhisattvas - LA.559
Origin: China
Circa: 1500 AD to 1800 AD
Dimensions: 60" (152.4cm) high x 14.5" (36.8cm) wide x 19.5" (49.5cm) depth
Collection: Chinese Art
Style: Late Ming/Qing Dynasty
Medium: Lacquered Wood


Additional Information: K

Location: Great Britain
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Description
Pair of sculptural standing bodhisattvas Avalokitesvara and Mahastheamaprapta, the high mukuta crowns, each bejewelled with either a small Amithaba icon, or the sacred bottle, one hand raised in vitarka mudra, the other one softly opened with palm up, the bodies slightly bent in tribanga pose, the bare chests with an ornate necklace, flowing garments reaching the feet and partly covering them. Traces of the original lacquered pigmentation remain.

The confession of the Great Vehicle, Mahayana (chin.: Dasheng), spread from Kashmir, Gandhara, Sogdia and Inner Asia into China, and further to Korea and Japan. It teaches that salvation is possible to all sentient beings because they possess the Buddha nature in them and hence all have the potentiality of being enlightened. Enlightenment is simply achieved by faith and devotion to Buddha and the religious ideal, the Bodhisattva (chin.: Pusa), Pratyekabuddha (chin.: Pizhifo) or Arhat (chin.: Aluohan, short: Luohan). These beings, though qualified to enter nirvana, delay their final entry in order to bring every sentient being across the sea of misery to the calm shores of enlightenment.

Avalokitesvara ("Observing the Sounds of the World", chin.: Guanshiyin, short: Guanyin, or Guanzizai), the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is one of the most venerated icon of the Buddhist Pantheon. While Mahasthamaprapta (Dashizhi) is a bodhisattva mahasattva that represents the power of wisdom, often depicted in a trinity with Amitabha and Avalokitesvara (Guanyin), especially in Pure Land Buddhism. His name literally means "arrival of the great strength". In this case, the pair would have been placed to the side of the main Buddha figure (Amitabha) as his flanking attendants, in the main temple hall. - (LA.559)

 

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