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God of War Kwan Yu
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Chinese Polychrome Wood Buddha Statue
Kwan Yu
God of War

Qing Dynasty, circa: 19th century
H 15.5 " (39cm.), W 9" (22.5cm.), D 8" (20cm.)

Condition: beard, paint loss

An exquisite Kuan Yu (Japanese: Kanu), carved from a single block of camphor wood, using a unique Chinese formula of gesso and saw-dust mixture. Shown here seated in bhadrasana with his hand in tarjani mudra; this statue is meticulously detailed with ultra-fine embossed motifs. The application of lacquered gold completed with layers of gilt and polychrome finishing create an effect reminiscent of gilt metal sculpture. Such elaborate design can be traced back to the Taoist influence.

Kuan Yu was a general under the posterior of the Han dynasty (Three Kingdoms, 220-265 A.D.). Although executed at the age of 58, he was later ennobled to the status of Duke and raised to the rank of Prince in 1128. In 1598 he was finally awarded the title of Emperor, Saint or God. He is a patron saint of many trades. Generally the image of Kuan Yu is holding the Book of Spring and Autumn(History Annual of Zhou dynasty, 770-475 B.C.E.). Therefore, he is also revered as a God of Literature. Furthermore, Kuan Yu is considered to be the God of Wealth, and a tutelary deity of business in Chinese culture.

Private Collection

  
  
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