About this artwork
This figure of Kannon, the bodhisattva of divine mercy and compassion, was originally part of an ensemble of three statues depicting the Welcoming Descent (raigo), in which the Amida Buddha and his attendants descend from the Western Paradise to welcome newly deceased souls. Here Kannon leans forward and extends a lotus pedestal (now lost), on which a soul would be carried into paradise. The idea of raigo was incredibly reassuring to Buddhist devotees, who, when close to death, used sculptures and painted images to imagine this journey to peace.
- Kannon Bosatsu
- Wood with traces of polychromy
- H. 84.5 cm (33 1/4 in.)
- Samuel M. Nickerson Endowment