Guardian King from Silla


published on 03 November 2017

The guardian king belongs to one of the eight catagories of Buddhist beings: that of the heavenly musicians (gandharva). One can identify this statue as such because of its wild beast headdress. Technically perfect, this bronze Korean statue is unique today. The inscription on the base dates it to the "Rooster Year," without specifying the reference era. Comparing it to paintings featuring the same style and theme found in the Turfan Oasis of China's Xinjiang Province, experts can date it to the end of Unified Silla (668-918 CE) or the 9th century CE. (Musée Guimet, Paris)

About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer, public speaker, and former academic who is interested in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He handles internal and external business communications at AHE and builds partnerships with international organizations.

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