VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Torso of a Buddhist Guardian Deity
SN51
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The design of whorls on the chest is suggestive of armor and shows that this figure is a guardian deity who protects the Buddhist law. The wooden rod at the back means this figure was most likely attached to the wall of a Buddhist building.

History of the Object
Only the torso of this clay sculpture remains. The round face is carefully detailed with arched eyebrows, slender eyes like apricot stones, and a nose ridge that joins the eyebrows. The way the eyes, nose and mouth are crowded in the center of the face is characteristic of Central Asian sculpture. Because of the long hair, some scholars regard this figure to be depiction of a woman.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Earthenware 
Measurements
Width 21.0 cm Height 43.0 cm  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
unknown 
Where it was made
Murtuk, Turpan, Xinjiang, China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 6th century ~ AD 7th century 
Creation date
6th Century -7th Century 
Function
Buddhist ritual 
Acquisition
The object was first found by the Otani(大谷) expedition team, which consisted of Japanese monks and later acquisitioned by Mr. Fusanosuke Kuhara who donated it to the museum of the Japanese colonial government, the predecessor of the National Museum of Korea in 1916. 
Copyright
National Museum of Korea 
Acknowledgements
National Museum of Korea, National Museum of Korea Digital Museum 2.0, Seoul:Cultural Foundation of National Museum of Korea, 2007 
Owner
National Museum of Korea 
Museum
National Museum of Korea 
Credit line
National Museum of Korea 

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    AD 5th century ~ AD 5th century
  • Bronze Weight
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    AD 14th century ~ AD 14th century
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