Tang Dynasty (8th-9th Century)
Height: 6 inches (15.24 cm)
The bodhisattva is carved from marble stone that has a surface of translucency and understated shimmer. Her hair is pulled into a topknot that can be seen from the front and back of the sculpture, beneath a flowered headpiece that drops into folds behind her elongated ears. She has a low forehead and finely carved eyes, tilted upwards to the sides. Her nose is short and straight above full lips, between rounded cheeks. On her neck there are several folds. The back of this head is also carved with folds of the headdress.
Provenance: Michael B. Weisbrod, Inc., at the Carlyle, New York Private Canadian Collection
A Head of Guanyin with similar facial features and hair and of the same period, is in an East Asian Art Collection in Berlin, has been published in Buddhist Sculpture Including Sculptures from Chinese and Western Museums and Collections, Beijing Publications, 1995, number 306.
Published in that same book, there is a similar head of a Bodhisattva, of the same period and with a similarly carved face, number 320, from the Tianlongshan Caves, and in the Gen Jin Art Gallery, Japan.