Guanyin

anonymous, c. 1100 - c. 1200, figure, AK-MAK-84

The Buddhist deity Guanyin, who rescues people in need, is shown here meditating, seated on a rock. According to legend, he was once discovered in this position, meditating on the moon’s reflection in the water - in Buddhism a symbol of illusion and transience. His pose and facial expression embody…

Shiva Nataraja

anonymous, c. 1100 - c. 1200, figure, AK-MAK-187

Shiva is depicted here as Nataraja (Lord of the Dance), standing in a ring of fire in the anandatandava position. He is both the creator and destroyer of the world. He is standing on a dwarf, symbolising ignorance. Richly decorated bronze statues of Hindu gods like this are carried in processions…

The bodhisattva Manjushri

anonymous, c. 800 - c. 900, figure, AK-MAK-240

In China, Manjushri is venerated as one of the first advocates of Buddhism. On Java he appears as a young man wearing straps of jewellery across his chest. This Manjushri is probably gesturing the turning of the wheel of wisdom: this symbolises the start of the Buddhist cycle of learning and the…

A Dutch Merchant, Possibly Andreas…

Chitqua (attributed to), c. 1770, figure, BK-1976-49

Van Braam Houckgeest ran the Dutch East India Company (VOC) base in Canton harbour in south China from 1790 to 1795. He may have commissioned this figure of himself on a previous journey in China. Chinese sculptor Chitqua specialised in this kind of clay portrait, mainly for foreigners. Similar…

Stier

Giambologna (workshop of), c. 1600, figure, BK-15784-1

Inkwell with the Tiber, Romulus and…

Tiziano Minio (attributed to), c. 1547 - c. 1548, figure, BK-1954-44

Saint Vitus

anonymous, c. 1500, figure, BK-1956-8

The Rape of a Sabine Woman

Giambologna (after), Giambologna (rejected attribution), c. 1600 - c. 1625, figure, BK-16938

The Annunciation

Tilman Riemenschneider, c. 1485 - c. 1487, figure, BK-16986-A

Bust of a Classical philosopher

Severo Calzetta da Ravenna, c. 1505 - c. 1525, figure, BK-NM-12080