A famille verte biscuit porcelain figure of Budai Monk
Kangxi period (1662-1722), Qing dynasty, China
康熙時期 (1662-1722), 清代, 中國
Length: 15.5 x Width: 12 x Height: 13 cm - L 6.10 x W 4.72 x H 5.12 inches
長: 15.5 x 寬: 12 x 高: 13釐米
The portly, bald and merry figure of the seated Budai Monk is depicted in rajalilasana wearing a loose fitting robe, opened loosely at the chest exposing his ample torso, his bare feet stretching out from under the robe. The laughing face with alert eyes, raised brows, and a wide-open mouth is finely modelled with various details picked out in black. The robe is decorated with a lozenge pattern of green, black, blue and yellow enamel patches, with floral motif and geometric trim. Budai holds a yellow sack in his right hand, his left hand rests on the raised knee holding a blue enamelled rosary of eighteen beads symbolising the Eighteen Luohans.
The Budai Monk, also known as the Laughing Buddha, derives from a historical figure of the Later Liang period (AD 907-923). This figure is widely believed among Chinese people to be the embodiment of Maitreya Buddha, the Future Buddha, who is venerated for his good temper, wisdom and contentment. In Chinese folk religion, the Budai Monk is extremely popular worshiped as the God of Wealth for his association with harmony, good fortune, and prosperity. Because of this strong connection to Chinese culture and Buddhism, these porcelain models were made for the domestic market as well as for export. In Europe Budai figures were copied by various factories including du Paquier.
‘The Copeland collection’, by William Sargent The Peabody collection Salem 1991, figure 55.