Figure of Guanyin

German
about 1720
Made by Ansbach Factory (Germany)


Object Place: Germany

Dimensions

Height: 41.9 cm (16 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

2006.938.2

Medium or Technique

Tin-glazed earthenware (faience)

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Ceramics

As the Virgin and Child, standing on grotesque animal mask, and decorated in cold colors in black, iron-red, yellow and gold


This piece epitomizes the tangled back-and-forth of the ceramics trade. The figure is the Chinese Buddhist deity Guanyin, but the piece was made in Germany, for the the European market. European factories often imitated Chinese forms, but the Chinese figurine of Guanyin that served as the model for this piece was actually an adaptation of a European Madonna that Christian missionaries had brought to China. Seventeenth-century Chinese potters had made Guanyin/Madonna figures for customers in Fujian province, and then exported them to Europe.

Provenance

By 1993, Edward M. Pflueger (b. 1905 - d. 1997) and Kiyi Powers Pflueger (b. 1915 - d. 2008), New York; 2006, bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2006)

Credit Line

Kiyi and Edward M. Pflueger Collection. Bequest of Edward M. Pflueger and Gift of Kiyi Powers Pflueger