Tomb guardian of Lokapala

Tomb guardian of Lokapala

8th - 9th century

Guardian Kings of the Four Directions, or Lokapala, were among the few Buddhist subjects incorporated into Chinese funerary iconography. This figure standing on top of a crouching deer probably represents Virupaksha, Guardian King of the West, both fearsome and wrathful. He was once painted in bright colors and gold. His raised left hand originally held a weapon, most likely a sword poised to strike evil spirits.
Earthenware with paint
35 7/8 x 18 1/2 x 6 7/8 in. (91.12 x 46.99 x 17.46 cm)
Overall h.: 45 3/8 in.
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Provenance: Yamanaka & Co., Inc, United States, to 1942; [liquidation sale by Alien Property Custodian, Yamanaka & Co., Inc., 1943, lot 597]; purchased from Yamanaka Liquidation Sale by Seattle Art Museum, 1943
Now on view at the Asian Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Timeless Grandeur: Art from China"
April 25, 2002 - June 12, 2005

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Documents International: Eleven Heads Are Better than One: Sixth Graders Connect with SAM", April 1, 1999 - April 2, 2000

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, "Chinese Art: A Seattle Perspective", December 22, 2007 - July 26, 2009 (12/22/2007 - 7/26/2009)

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Boundless: Stories of Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing.

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