Statue of goddess Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy and maternity, China, before 1922

Made:
before 1922 in China
maker:
Unknown

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Wooden statue of Kwan Yin, goddess of mercy and maternity, represented as pregnant, Chinese. Full view of front,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wooden statue of Kwan Yin, goddess of mercy and maternity, represented as pregnant, Chinese. Full view of back of
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wooden statue of Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy and maternity, represented as pregnant, Chinese

Kwan Yin is known within the Buddhist faith as a ‘bodhisattva’. This is a god who has selflessly given up the progression to Nirvana, the ultimate state of enlightenment that is the goal of Buddhists, to remain in this world to help mankind. She is the goddess of mercy and compassion linked with maternity. She can perform miracles and answer prayers. This wooden statue was originally studded with semi-precious stones and depicts her as pregnant. She is revered by men and women because of her understanding of suffering.

Chinese Buddhists consider P’u-t’ o-shan island, China, the mythical home of Kwan Yin. It became the centre of a devotional cult in her honour during the 900s CE. It was established when a Buddhist monk travelling with an image of Kwan Yin sheltered from a storm on the island. He was so taken with the island’s beauty he built a temple in Kwan Yin’s honour. It is still a place of pilgrimage.

Related people

Details

Category:
Asian Medicine
Object Number:
A642959
Materials:
amethyst, wood
type:
statue
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
credit:
Sotheby's

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.