immense, beautifully carved and gilded Quan Yin (Japanese: Kannon) depicts the
Chinese deity standing in an erect but relaxed cant, the slight curve of her figure
bringing her hands to the fore of attention. In her right hand rests a pearl of
wisdom, and from her left dangles a string of prayer beads. A carved through pedestal,
made from dragon and lotus leaf, gives the impression of the goddess floating
just above the earth. Its life-like presence denotes its Chinese origins, whose
carver’s skills tend to favor a human presence over formal symbolism.
color design of this piece is remarkable. Her pien-fu is covered with a bronze
patina and highlighted with an brushed hillside and flowers motiff, while her
red lacquered skin has held up well over time, particularly her shining and rounded
face. Gold leaf gesso additions to the wood make up the trim of her dress and
wrap around rolling folds of cloth. Though there are some age cracks, the piece
remains sublime, and is in good condition overall.