CHONGZHEN or SHUNZHI c.1640 – 1650 Blanc de Chine Porcelain
A Fine Ming or early Qing Blanc de Chine Porcelain Model of Guanyin in Dhyanasana with Her Acolytes Either Side and a Bowl of Holy Water in Front of Her, Late Ming, Chongzhen Period 1628 – 1644.
- Very good, a loss to a section of the ribbon draped around the shoulder of the male acolyte. Some small firing cracks due to uneven drying of the clay on the base and where the heads joins to the body
- Height : 23.3 cm (9 inches)
- Stock number
- This figure is particularly interesting in that it is very similar to the Blanc de Chine Guanyin illustrated in the engraved border of the Dutch map maker Blaeu`s Nieuw Atlas of 1655, see Blanc de Chine, Porcelain From Dehua, A Catalogue of the Hickley Collection, Singapore (Rose Kerr & John Ayers, Art Media Resources Ltd, 2002) page 29, figures 17 and 18, for a close-up of the map and a very similar blanc de chine group. For another similar Blanc de Chine group see our `Sold Items` stock number 18628 and a further related group stock number 20315.
Figures of Guanyin are by far the most common of all Blanc de Chine figures and indeed one of the most common images in Chinese figurative art. Guanyin was the Goddess of mercy, She was especially revered in the area where this figure was produced ; Dehua in Fujian Province. But her origins stem from Tibetan Buddhism, she was originally the patron saint of Tibetan Buddhism `Avalokitesvara`. Guanyin is actually the shorter form of the name Guan shi yin, which means “one who observes the voices of the world.” True to her name, Guanyin listens to and understands the worries that plague man`s existence. Because of her mercy and generosity, Guanyin is the most-loved of China`s divinities. the one people turn to for assistance in their everyday lives. Guanyin is specially venerated by those who are hoping to have children or those who are about to set out for sea. Guanyin is usually portrayed wearing a white cape. In her right hand, she holds a dish that has holy water. On her head is a crown in the style of the Amitabha-buddha. She is shown meditating in a seated position. Guanyin has been given the same qualities as the Virgin Mary of Catholic theology, which is why she is sometimes portrayed holding a child in her arms. While the worship of Guanyin in could be traced historically from India, she is the star of countless legends and folk tales in China. Guanyin`s home on earth was the Putuo mountains, located on an island on China`s eastern coast to the south of Shanghai. In China, Putuo-shan is one of the most sacred places in Buddhism and the temple dedicated to Guanyin on the mountain is one of the most important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Guanyin`s birth is celebrated on the 19th day of February, and her enlightenment is celebrated on the 19th of September. On those days, the pilgrims flock to Putuo mountain.