Head of a Heavenly King (Lokapala)

DATE:
12th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Wood
CLASSIFICATION:
Sculpture
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 11 1/4 x 7 x 6 7/8 in. (28.57 x 17.78 x 17.46 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Arts of Asia
LOCATION:
304 SNAIL GALLERY
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1982.8.McD

General Description

This lokapala (heavenly guardian) sculpture consists only of the head from a full-length wooden guardian figure designed to be placed by the entrance to a shrine or temple. The powerfully muscular face has affinities with early Japanese dance masks and is carved in linear patterns which articulate the head as an image of benevolent ferocity. Another example of the use of ferocious imagery as a form of protection occurs in the Dallas Museum of Art's Tang dynasty lokapala [1987.360.1.McD and 1987.360.2.McD].

Adapted from

  • Anne Bromberg, Dallas Museum of Art: Selected Works (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1983), 45.

  • Label text, 2018.

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