Figure of Guanyin

about 1720
Made by Ansbach Factory (Germany)

Object Place: Germany


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tin-glazed earthenware (faience)

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)





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.


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