The Art of Amy Letts

Guan Yin


Artist: Amy Letts
Title: Guan Yin
Date: 2009
Medium: Watercolours
Size: 16 x 12 inch

Prints, Postcards & Greetings Cards

Fine Art Prints are available is sizes A4 & A3. They are printed using eco-technology and pigment inks. All packaging is biodegradable or recyclable.

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Guan Yin is an original watercolour painting by artist Amy Letts.

Guan Yin (also spelled Kwan Yin or Quan Yin) is a Goddess or Bodhisattva of the Buddist religion. She is the “Goddess of Mercy.” Her story goes that she was a Buddist who, through a life of great love and sacrifice, earned her way into Nirvana (paradise). However, when she was about to accept her reward, she heard crying from the earth and turned away. Guan Yin is short for “Guanshiyin, which means “[The One Who] Perceives the Cries of the World.”

Because of her great compassion she could not abandon those suffering on the earth, so she made a vow to end all suffering. In some versions of the story she vows to save all sentient life from reincarnation.

In an attempt to understand the needs of so many, her head split into pieces. The Buddha of eternal life, Amitabha (aka Amitayus) made each piece a head, which is why she is depicted with multiple heads. In the legend the number varies; there are three in this painting.

Now she understood their plight, Guan Yin reached out. Consequently, in her attempt to help everyone, her arms split into a thousand pieces. Again Amitabha came to her aid, giving her a thousand arms. In some legends she also has a thousand eyes, which is why the hands are depicted with an eye in the centre of each one. In this form Guan Yin is able to spread her mercy everywhere. There is an amazing dance based on this legend.

1000 hands? Lets see an artAI pull that one off!


This artwork is hand-drawn and intricately hand-painted, right down to every grain of rice. Rice is a good luck symbol and the goddess gave people rice to save them from starvation. She also holds a rice sheath, a symbol of fertility. The vase holds water to save people from thirst. The lotus flower is a symbol of purity. The dragon repressents her connection to water, because she is also the patroness of fishermen.

Discover more mythical artworks by Amy Letts


Additional information


Original, A4 Print, A3 Print, Postcard, Greetings Card

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