Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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十一面観音像
Eleven-Headed Kannon

Period:
Nanbokuchō period (1336–92)
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Wood with lacquer, gold leaf, and metal decoration
Dimensions:
Overall (figure): H. 78 3/8 in. (199.1 cm); W. 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm); D. 23 1/8 in. (58.7 cm) Overall (figure with base): H. 92 1/4 in. (234.5 cm); W. 30 3/8 in. (77.2 cm); D. 25 1/2 in. (64.8 cm) Overall (total with halo): H. 93 1/4 in. (236.9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.268.167
Not on view
Eleven-headed Kannon (Sanskrit: Avalokiteshvara) is an important bodhisattva in the esoteric schools of Buddhism. Atop the deity’s own head are eleven additional heads. Ten of these take the form of bodhisattvas and represent the ten stages toward enlightenment. The topmost head is that of Amida (Sanskrit: Amitabha), the Buddha from whom Kannon emanates. The fluid, deeply carved drapery follows a thirteenth-century sculptural style developed in Nara by the Kei school of Buddhist sculptors. However, the more decorative treatment of the robe and the heavy, solemn face suggest a fourteenth-century date for this imposing figure. It was originally installed at Kuhonji, a small Shingon school temple located northwest of Kyoto.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Manifestations of the Merciful Bodhisattva: Kannon," 1989.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Resonant Image: Tradition in Japanese Art (Part Two)," April 27, 1998–September 27, 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Japan," 1998.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Birds, Flowers, and Buddhist Paradise Imagery in Japanese Art," February 14, 2004–June 13, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Tribute to a Dedicated Collector: Mary Griggs Burke," June 30, 2004–November 29, 2004.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Sensitivity to the Seasons: Autumn and Winter," June 22, 2006–September 10, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Flowing Streams: Scenes from Japanese Arts and Life," December 21, 2006–June 3, 2007.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "No Ordinary Mortals: The Human Figure in Japanese Art," 2007–2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ukiyo-e Artists' Responses to Romantic Legends of Two Brothers: Narihira and Yukihira," March 27, 2008–June 8, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Animals, Birds, Insects, and Marine Life in Japanese Art," June 26, 2008–November 30, 2008.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetry and Travel in Japanese Art," December 18, 2008–May 31, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Japanese Mandalas: Emanations and Avatars," June 18, 2009–November 30, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes in Japanese Art," June 24, 2010–November 7, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Beautiful Country: Yamato-e in Japanese Art," November 20, 2010–June 5, 2011.

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