The Bodhisattva, a popular and powerful figure in Chinese Buddhist iconography, is a saintly figure of Mahayana Buddhism who elects to stay in contact with this world to help other mortals to reach Nirvana.

The present figure is seated with legs pendant and the right hand raised, with the forefinger pointing upwards and the palm facing forward, symbolizing teaching. The left hand, which is missing, would probably have lain palm upwards on the left knee. It appears to have been painted from the beginning, and in its present state is more subdued in colour than it has been at anytime in the past.


Sam Salz sale at Sotheby's New York, 1981

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