Antique bronze of Songzi Guanyin



Inventory Number: 127837

This antique and precious statue was completed in bronze, lacquer and gold and depicts the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion, Guanyin. This sculpture was donated by the Franciscans of the city of the Taiyuan province Shanxi, for the occasion of the Exposition of 1925. Songzi Guanyin, represented as “Giver of Children” is seated in Lalitasana or Rajalisana, in the position “Posture of Kings” with his left foot on a lotus bud that is coming out of the water. Seated on his right leg is a child seated in a frontal position. The Bodhisattva is dressed in a crown, where, in the center is the depiction of a figure Buddha Amitabha, of which Guanyin is an enactment. The base of this sculpture references a rock that is emerging out of water from which grows the lotus flower. This is a clear reference to the Potala island, one of the residences of divinity. The figure is part of a home altar. One can see where the sculpture was constantly rubbed by devotees. In fact, the shiny left knee lacks its original lacquer because of this. Guanyin is the Chinese denomination of one of the most important figures alongside the Mahayana Buddhism (of the Great Vehicle) Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion Avalokitesvara (Sanscript). In China this god is venerated like the Bodhisattva of Grace, of Compassion, and of Fertility. It is mainly women who are expecting or hoping for children that look to this god because this god helps with conception, successful pregnancies, and the protection of sick or underserved children.
The healing powers of this god are also under- stood to protect sailors from shipwrecks, farmers from insect invasions, and travelers from the attacks of bandits. Popular belief has it that Guanyin has the power to prevent natural disasters such as typhoons, floods, and droughts. Guanyins blessing is also deemed effective to secure luck in business, prosperity, health and happiness. The religious origin of Guanyin in found in Buddhism where he is venerated in the masculine form of Avalokitesvara “the Lord looking in every direction”.