Japanese Hanging Scroll of the Goddess of Mercy

c. 1800
$2,580 USD SOLD
W: 26.0" D: 1.0" H: 91.5"
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This exquisite hanging scroll painting from the late 18th century depicts the sacred form of the bodhisattva Guanyin, known in Japanese Buddhism as Shō Kannon, or Guze Kannon. Described as the "Buddha of Infinite Compassion" or the “Goddess of Mercy,” Kannon is the embodiment of empathy and grace and makes herself available to all who call upon her with all their mind. Typically depicted as a woman in Chinese and Japanese art, Kannon can take many forms and is often invoked to encourage fertility or alleviate suffering.
This painted scroll depicts the goddess Kannon seated on a rocky outcropping in the middle of a churning ocean, surrounded by crashing waves and backed by swirling clouds and a large, moon-like halo. Exuding calm and elegance, she’s dressed in flowing robes and intricate jewelry and holds herself in a relaxed posture known as “royal ease.” Close attention to detail further enhances the beauty of her graceful form, such as the delicate shading of her face and the gilt linework of her robes, suggestive of silk embroidery.

With a serene expression on her face, Kannon casts a glance towards the two young children to her left, presenting her with an offering bowl filled with the “Pearls of Light.” These two figures are likely the goddess’s disciples Lung Nue and Shan Tsai, each of whom dedicated themselves to Kannon at a young age. Painted in a subdued palette of dark colors on woven silk, the painting is mounted on a silk brocade backing woven with full flower blossoms and trailing vines.
Gilt copper mounts reinforce the silk at either end.

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“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

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