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Antique Chinese Fruit Wood Carving
Lokapala
Tang Style Temple Guardian
Circa: 19th-early 20th century
H 25.5" (65cm.), W 13" (33cm.), D 6.5" (16.5cm.)
Condition: very good!

 

Superhuman strength at the center of a whirlwind of mighty energy is concentrated in this guardian figure, intended to represent the limitless power of pristine wisdom to dispel all obstructions to Buddha consciousness. This type of Lokapala was developed during the 7th Century Tang dynasty period, an era in which figure statues were influenced from the Roman empire. Chinese sculpture became increasingly three dimensional and highly individuated, and artists were freed from strict adherence to formal, frontal composition. This guardian statue displays the Tang temperament as preferring exaggerated action, where every plane is conceived in terms of restlessness and movement, with flying drapery entwined with the richly modeled torso. A guardian is intended to terrify and this he does by the ferocity of his facial expression, by the bulging muscularity of his body, (the ligaments and veins under his skin can be seen standing out ) and above all by a tense, poised swiftness conveyed by the pose and by the swirl of drapery around the shoulders. He carries the vajra as a thunderbolt to destroy the enemies of Truth. The fine carving and variegated tones in the wood intensify the illusion of movement that animates this forceful work.

Private Collection

  
  
Temple Guardian Wood StatueTemple Guardian back
  
  
  
Temple Guardian Wood StatueTemple Guardian Wood Statue
  
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