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北魏 云崗第25窟 彩繪石雕交腳菩薩像(砂岩)
Bodhisattva with Crossed Ankles, probably Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin)

Period:
Northern Wei dynasty (386–534)
Date:
ca. 470–80
Culture:
China
Medium:
Sandstone with traces of pigment
Dimensions:
H. 57 1/2 in. (146.1 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1922
Accession Number:
22.134
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 206
Seated bodhisattvas with their legs crossed at the ankles are among the most ubiquitous images found in the cave-temple complex at Yungang, near Datong, in north Shanxi province. Both large and small examples were carved on the side walls of many of the caves, as well as on the large central pillars that often filled their interiors. The small seated Buddha on the front of the crown is intriguing. By the late fifth century, such figures were used in Indian art to identify the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who embodies the virtue of compassion. The presence of such a seated Buddha has remained an iconographic symbol of Avalokiteshvara for millennia.
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