Head of a Heavenly King (Lokapala)
- 12th century
- MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
- Overall: 11 1/4 x 7 x 6 7/8 in. (28.57 x 17.78 x 17.46 cm)
- Arts of Asia
- 304 SNAIL GALLERY
- CREDIT LINE:
- Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc.
- Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
- OBJECT NUMBER:
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].
Anne Bromberg, Dallas Museum of Art: Selected Works (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art, 1983), 45.
Label text, 2018.
- Encyclopedia Britannica
Learn more about lokapala and their role in Buddhism.