< RETURN TO CHINESE ART

T’ang Sancai-Glazed Celestial King - H.683
Origin: China
Circa: 618 AD to 906 AD
Dimensions: 34.75" (88.3cm) high
Collection: Chinese
Style: T'ang Dynasty
Medium: Glazed Terracotta

*CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE*

Known as Lokapala and as the Devaraja, or Celestial King, this style of guardian figures are a more general type of Chinese art known as mingqi. Mingqi were any of a variety of objects specifically created for interment in the tombs of elite individuals in order to provide for the afterlife. These guardians were most likely interred in order to ward off potential tomb robbers or perhaps evil spirits in the next world that might try to infiltrate the tomb. Traditionally, this fierce, armored guardian stands, as represented here, upon a recumbent ox, with one foot resting on the head and another on the body, symbolic of the Celestial King’s authority. Originally, this type of figure had its origins in Buddhist philosophy; however, over the ages, as society became more secularized, they began to fulfill the more generic role of tomb guardians. As society evolved, these figures lost their religious significance and became symbolic of the military might that protected the wealth of the T’ang from the nomadic barbarian invaders of the North. Clearly, these are imposing figures that were supposed to ward away the forces of evil and protect the deceased throughout eternity. Although these works were never meant to be seen by the living, they amaze us with their refined artistry and sophisticated beauty. Especially pleasing is the delicate modeling of the spectacular bird headdress that crowns his head. With spread wings and undulating neck, this gorgeous headdress is a fine example of the masterful artistry of T’ang sculptors. While this Celestial King is supposed to frighten us with his stern glare and aggressive posture, originally he would have brandished a wooden spear or sword that has vanished over the ages, we are instead drawn to his overwhelming beauty and history. - (H.683)

 

 

 

Home | About Us | Exhibits | Contact Us | Services | Publications | Search | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Security

Fayez Barakat, Art From Ancient Lands, Barakat Publications, Ancient Jalisco Art, Ancient Colima Art, Ancient Nayarit Art, Art of Ancient Africa, Roman Oil Lamps,
Roman Coin Jewelry, African Masks, Sand Core Glass, Egyptian Scarabs, Classical Antiquities, Pre-Columbian Jade, Pre-Columbian Gold
Animals on Coins, Emperor Maurice Tiberius, Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Islamic Gold Coins, Athenian Tetradrachms
Emperor Constantine 1 the Great, Emperor Antoninus Pius, Emperor Commodus, Ancient Jewish Coins, Bactrian Coins, Emperor Justinian,
Emperor Elagabalus, Alexander the Great Tetradrachms, Egyptian Antiquities, Biblical Antiquities, Classical Antiquities, Near Eastern Art,
Byzantine Art,Pre-Columbian Art, African & Tribal Art, Asian Art, Chinese Art, Russian Icons, Coin Jewelry, Greek Coins, Roman Coins, Byzantine Coins

405 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills CA 90210 | Phone:310.859.8408 | Fax 310.276.1346
58 Brook Street, London W1K 5DT, UK Tel: +44 (0) 207 493.7778 | Fax: +44 (0) 207 493.9593
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Email Barakat Gallery | Contact Web Master/Designer