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Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion

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China Anonymous, Chinese
Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Compassion, 18th c.
Gold ink on indigo-dyed paper
25 in. x 16 1/8 in. (63.5 cm x 40.96 cm)


Object Type: Scroll
Technique: Brushwork
Creation Place: Asia, China
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. William Bacon Pettus
Accession Number: 0322


Commentary
Inscription: A dragon nature [a stubborn nature] is difficult to tame; shocking thunderclaps and flying lightning bolts, I look up at the bodhisattva’s compassion. In the morning I worship, in the evening I discern [the truth] and the certain destiny of the next life. Attaining the source of enlightenment, in the Southern Pure Land [one] becomes a buddha in an instant. Inscribed by the imperial hand.
Professor Kathleen M. Ryor, Carleton College

This 18th-century Chinese painting in gold ink on indigo-blue paper depicts the Buddhist deity Guanyin receiving an offering of beads from a parrot. The image is based on an ancient Chinese Buddhist tale of a parrot who was devastated at the loss of its parent, to whom he was very devoted. The compassionate bodhisattva Guanyin saw the parrot's devotion and decided to relieve the bird of its suffering. As an act of gratitude, the parrot became a disciple of Guanyin and offered the deity a string of beads.

Meher McArthur, Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Curator of Academic Programs and Collections

Marks
The inscription is purported to be by the Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795). Question of ghostwriting for Qianlong is big and thorny. The quality of the painting and calligraphy are good; could well be authentic. A Buddhist work of the Bodhisattva Guanyin
Professor Peter Sturman, University of California, Santa Barbara

Seals: Top center: seal of the Qianlong emperor ????
Two seals below the inscription of the Qianlong emperor: a round ? and a square ?.
Professor Kathleen M. Ryor, Carleton College


Unsigned. No artist signature. Inscript in the upper center by Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795).

Medium
Gold and paint brushed on paper, mounted with silk brocade.

Object Description
An 18th century Buddhist scroll of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, dressed in a golden robe. The goddess is lifting up an offering to a bird in the sky. The background is in ultramarine blue.

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