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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Seated Guanyin

Photo: Paul Macapia

Seated Guanyin

10th - late 13th century

It is said Guanyin presents himself everywhere in the world to save people from suffering, and assumes various forms to carry out his mission. The form that has become most popular in China since the 10th century is the female Guanyin, such as this graceful example from the Song period. Viewers find an especially persuasive appeal of tender love, gentle care, and boundless compassion in the female Guanyin, guiding generation after generation in their search for enlightenment.
Wood with lacquer, gesso, polychrome and gilding
64 x 36 x 30 in. (162.56 x 91.44 x 76.2 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Luminous: The Art of Asia, October 13, 2011 - January 8, 2012

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Chinese Art: A Seattle Perspective, December 22, 2007 - July 26, 2009
Published ReferencesHandbook, Seattle Art Museum: Selected Works from the Permanent Collections, Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1951, p. 63 (b&w)

Thomas, Edward B., Oriental Art in the Seattle Art Museum, in Art in America, no. 1, 1965, illus. p. 59

Lorne, Aleth and Petra Rosch, and Pauline Lunsingh Scheurleer. The Chinese Wooden Sculpture of Guanyin. New Technical and Art Historival Insights, in the Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum, Jaarg 50 Nr. 3 (2002), p. 364-389.

Explore the Art of Luminous: Seated Guanyin. YouTube video, 2011.

Waugh, Daniel C. "The Arts of China in Seattle." The Silk Road, vol. 12 (2014): pp. 137-152, reproduced p. 151, fig. 31.

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.