<em>Head of a Guardian</em>, Muromachi. Hinoki wood with lacquer on cloth, pigment, rock crystal, metal, 22 1/16 x 10 1/4 x 13 15/16 (56.0 x 26.0 x 35.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection, 86.21. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 86.21_color_corrected_SL1.jpg)

Head of a Guardian

Medium: Hinoki wood with lacquer on cloth, pigment, rock crystal, metal

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:Muromachi

Dimensions: 22 1/16 x 10 1/4 x 13 15/16 (56.0 x 26.0 x 35.5 cm)

Collections:

Museum Location: Brooklyn Museum, BMA, 5H29, 6D

Exhibitions:

Accession Number: 86.21

Image: 86.21_color_corrected_SL1.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
An over-life-size head from a figure of one of the Shitenno, the four guardian kings of the cardinal directions. The head was at one time owned by the Nara temple Kofuku-ji. The fiery eyes, furrowed brow, prominent nose, and open mouth present a ferocious mien typical of these Heavenly Guardians, whose role was to protect the temple's sacred precincts. The head is carved of two blocks of wood, into which the topknot is inserted. Crystal inset eyes, painted on reverse. The filigree metal crown is a later replacement. Remains of polychrome on the outer surface, and traces of the painter's graffiti on the interior.

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