Important Cultural PropertyAvalokitesvara (Kannon Bosatsu)

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  • 1 statue
  • Gold-plated bronze
  • Total H41.6 Statue H34.8
  • Asuka period/7th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-168

This is one boy image and relatively large decorations are applied. Among the 48 small gilt bronze images of Buddhist deities from Horyuji Temple, there are four boy images in addition to this one. These boy images are in the same style as the Hiten drawn on the canopy of the Kondo at Horyuji Temple, the images of Roku Kannon in Horyuji Temple and the wooden image of Shokannon at Kinryuji Temple in Nara. In particular, among those images, the shape of the lotus petals (double-layered petals with flat shiben (a petal on which a leaf bud is rendered)) on the pedestal of the Bodhisattva image closely resembles the lotus motif of the roof tiles of Horyuji Temple during its reconstruction period, suggesting a close connection between the boy images and Horyuji Temple at that time.
The image, including the pedestal, is created almost in one cast. However, the head, the right shoulder and the hem of the kun (a skirt) on the back have been tinkered with due to a casting failure. Although the image was originally hollowed out including the head, the molten copper, which flowed into the head when it was tinkered with and some of the inner mold clay remain in the head of the current image. The thickness of the copper is relatively thick and almost even except for the area that was tinkered with. A square katamochi (a metal piece inserted between the outer and inner molds) is set on the abdomen and the back of the hips. While there are many mold cavities in the topknot and in the area that was tinkered with, there are few in other areas. The raised bead motifs (renjumon) on each ornament are rendered using a nanako chisel. Gold plating remains over the surface of the image except for the reverse side of the head ornaments, the hair, the kun and the pedestal. For coloring, lapis lazuli and green remains on the hair, vermillion (the vermillion could be Bengala) remains on the reverse side of the head ornaments, green can be seen on the surface of the kun, vermillion is found on its reverse side, yellowish red (tan) can be found on the turned over area, green remains on the lotus core and the petals, yellowish red is seen on the shiben (on one petal of which a leaf bud is rendered), kanben (wedge-like petals) can be seen on the upturned lotus petals, vermillion remains on the shiben (on one petal of which a leaf bud is rendered) and kanben (wedge-like petals) is seen on the down-turned lotus petals. There is a big horizontal crack on the lower part of the tenne (a long cloth) hanging down from the left hand.