late 1200s–early 1300s
(Chinese, active around 1300)
Hanging scroll; ink and gold on silk
Painting: 80.7 x 25.7 cm (31 3/4 x 10 1/8 in.); Overall with knobs and cord: 168.2 x 44.5 cm (66 1/4 x 17 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1978.47.2
The original model for this ink drawing of Guanyin, the bodhisattva of infinite compassion (Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit), is accession number 1978.47.1. This drawing is a later copy with the same image of the White-Robed Guanyin, but in reverse. The inscription above reads: one of the 84,000 painted by the priest Insei.
The inscription seems to indicate that the Japanese priest Insei repeatedly copied the image of the bodhisattva in an act of piety and to accumulate merit, as is promised in the Lotus Sutra for anyone who paints images of the Buddha, they “will achieve the Buddha path.” The priest’s name and seal need further study and identification.
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