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Four Arms QuanYin
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Antique Chino-Tibetan bronze
Four-Armed Manjusri
Buddha of Literature
Circa: Ming Dynasty, (1573-1644)
H.10in.(25.5cm) W.8in.(20.5cm) D.5.3in.(14cm)

Manjusri, his name in Japanese is Monju; Chinese, Wen Chu. He is regarded as the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, and the God of Literature in China. Along with Maitreya, Avalokitesvara and Samantabhadra, Manjushri is one of the four Bodhisattvas who occupy the Universal Knowledge quarter in the center of the Womb Mandala in esoteric Buddhism. His most common form is a smiling youth with skin of dark gold, and sits on a white lotus.

Four Arms QuanYin

 

This four-armed Manjusri holds the sword and arrow in his right, and in the left, the Prajnyaparamita Sutra (with the upper left hand originally holding a bow, it is now missing). These attributes are Buddhist symbols of meditation and wisdom that cleanse the evil of egotism.

Judging from the proportion, gesture and attributes of this gorgeous bronze, this sculpture of the Bodhisattva of Wisdom is an excellent example of Buddhist art that was produced in accordance with centuries of Buddhist traditions. Stylistically, although there are hints that show strong Tibetan influence; but rather than the slim, elongated Tibetan Buddha, the bodhisattva's bold face and vigorous body, his extended eyebrows and slanted eyes are distinctively Chinese origin. Further more, the unusual style of the crown, the curvi-linear drapery folds, and the rectangular base which sits the double lotus are indication of a style produced in late 16th century, Ming Dynasty (1573-1644). The zinc content and fabrication technique suggested that the sculpture was likely made in the Beijing area.

 
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