Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City MO
Guanyin of the Southern Sea, Liao (907-1125) or Jin Dynasty (1115-1234)
"This polychrome wooden figure of Guanyin is possibly the best-preserved and most magnificent sculpture from this period of Chinese Buddhist art. A bodhisattva, unlike a Buddha, refrains from entering Nirvana until all sentient beings have attained enlightenment. Guanyin, the bodhisattva most associated with compassion by Chinese Buddhist followers, is depicted here in a pose of royal ease. Gentle and calming, the Guanyin bodhisattva would appeal to patrons in need of emotional support and guidance. With coloring dated to no later than the mid-16th century, the sculpture’s vivid tonal intensity adds to the bodhisattva’s emotional approachability."