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Rare Blanc de Chine Figure of Guanyin and Child/ Madonna and Child

Kangxi period, ca: late 17th century


Clearly influenced by a European sculpture of a Madonna and Child, and quite likely in fact, meant to represent this Christian subject.  The hair and features of the Boy are quite European; the crown though decorated with Buddhist iconography is quite European in form as well.   This is clearly one of those remarkable instances in which the Chinese artisans, who were unfamiliar with Christian and Western representations, merged elements of each culture in creating the object for export to Europe. Similarities and the popularity of depictions of Guanyin, Bodhisattva of Mercy and Bringer of Children, to the Madonna and Child was easy connection for artisans to create Christian images for use by the Christian community in China as well as for export to Europe. 
Similar examples: Koger Collection, Ringling Museum, Sarasota; Donnelly, Blanc de Chine, 1969, Pl. 122; Blumenfield, Blanc de Chine, 2002, p. 171; and Asian Civilisation Museum, Singapore, Christianity in Asia, 2016, No. 63. 
Height: 21 5/8 inches (55 cm.)

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