Object Image

五代 雷延美 木刻大慈大悲救苦觀世音菩薩圖

This humble image of Guanyin is a rare survival from the early days of printing in China. It was commissioned by Cao Yuanzhong, ruler of Dunhuang, the oasis town in western China that was the final stopping point for Silk Road travelers before the arid horrors of the Taklamakan desert. This print was one of many Buddhist artworks commissioned by Cao to aid travelers to and from Dunhuang. The text, which identifies Guanyin as “Greatly Merciful, Greatly Compassionate Rescuer from Suffering,” calls upon the deity to bring an end to war and disease and to watch over the highways in and out of the oasis.

Credit: Gift of Paul Pelliot through the Morgan Library, 1924 ...
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Dated 947
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
47.6 x 32.4cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection