|Object Title||Guanyin figure|
|Date||Qing dynasty, Kangxi period, 1662–1722|
|Dimensions||height 23.5 cm|
|Collection||University Museum and Art Gallery, HKU|
This figure represents the Chinese Guanyin, the bodhisattva (‘enlightened being’) of compassion. One of the most popular Buddhist figures in China, she originated in India as the male bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, who was transformed after the introduction of Buddhism to China into a female associated with the virtues of compassion and mercy. Guanyin was also worshipped as the patron of fishermen, and by women as a fertility goddess and ‘bringer of sons’. She appears to have been the most popular figural subject at the Dehua kilns during the reign of the Wanli emperor (1572–1620) to the end of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).