November 2016 Cat. no. 13
LACQUERED WOOD BODHISATTVA AVALOKITESVARA VIETNAM LATER LE DYNASTY, 1428 - 1788 17TH - 18TH CENTURY H. 66 CMS, 26 INS A serene, elegant lacquered and gilded wood figure of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of wisdom and compassion, the face with a gentle smile, wearing thick robes that leave his midriff exposed, seated cross-legged with his right hand resting in his lap in apanmudra (‘energy’ mudra) and holding a fold of his robe, the left hand raised in abhayamudra (the gesture of dispelling fear), wearing a flat-topped crown with lotus motifs. During the 17th century the Le kings of Vietnam ruled as figureheads and were manipulated by the Trinh clan leaders. Seven civil wars involving the Trinh’s rivals, the Nguyen, took place between 1627 and 1672 but the period was, nonetheless, a cultured one. The rival lords built palaces and temples in their efforts to impress each other, and Buddhism became increasingly popular. The subtle, understated beauty of this sculpture places it in the 17th or 18th century heyday of the Later Le dynasty – for other examples see p. 139 in Luu Tran Tieu et al (eds.), Vietnamese Antiquities, Hanoi: Department of Conservation and Museology - National Museum of Vietnamese History, 2003. See also nos. 132 and 159 in Phan Cam Thuong, Ancient Sculpture of Vietnam, Fine Arts Publishing House, 1997. PROVENANCE: Private English collection.


November 2016 Cat. no. 13
LACQUERED WOOD BODHISATTVA AVALOKITESVARA VIETNAM LATER LE DYNASTY, 1428 - 1788 17TH - 18TH CENTURY H. 66 CMS, 26 INS A serene, elegant lacquered and gilded wood figure of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of wisdom and compassion, the face with a gentle smile, wearing thick robes that leave his midriff exposed, seated cross-legged with his right hand resting in his lap in apanmudra (‘energy’ mudra) and holding a fold of his robe, the left hand raised in abhayamudra (the gesture of dispelling fear), wearing a flat-topped crown with lotus motifs. During the 17th century the Le kings of Vietnam ruled as figureheads and were manipulated by the Trinh clan leaders. Seven civil wars involving the Trinh’s rivals, the Nguyen, took place between 1627 and 1672 but the period was, nonetheless, a cultured one. The rival lords built palaces and temples in their efforts to impress each other, and Buddhism became increasingly popular. The subtle, understated beauty of this sculpture places it in the 17th or 18th century heyday of the Later Le dynasty – for other examples see p. 139 in Luu Tran Tieu et al (eds.), Vietnamese Antiquities, Hanoi: Department of Conservation and Museology - National Museum of Vietnamese History, 2003. See also nos. 132 and 159 in Phan Cam Thuong, Ancient Sculpture of Vietnam, Fine Arts Publishing House, 1997. PROVENANCE: Private English collection.