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Title

Guardian figure

1368-1644

Artists

Unknown Artist

Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
Alternate image of Guardian figure by
  • Details

    Other Title
    Guardian figure of Wei Tuo
    Place where the work was made
    China
    Period
    Ming dynasty 1368 - 1644 → China
    Date
    1368-1644
    Media category
    Sculpture
    Materials used
    bronze, gold; gilding
    Dimensions
    140.0 x 60.5 x 50.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Gift of Captain Francis Hixson 1905
    Location
    Upper Asian gallery
    Accession number
    1309
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

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  • About

    Dressed in the elaborate armour worn by Chinese military heroes during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), this sculpture depicts a guardian of the Buddhist faith and teachings. His fearsome appearance serves to protect what is good by frightening away evil. His lion headdress symbolises ferocity and determination to defend Buddhism, while the hand-over-fist gesture is one of greeting.

    The sculpture would likely have been one of 24 protective deities in the hall of a temple or monastery. It is said to have been taken from the ruins of the Palace of Ten Thousand Years near Beijing in late 1900 or early 1901 by members of the New South Wales Naval Contingent, who were there to support British troops during the Boxer Uprising (1899– 1901). The exact location from which the sculpture was taken is not known.

    If you know more about the provenance of this sculpture, or other works in the Art Gallery’s collection, please share your knowledge with us: provenance@ag.nsw.gov.au

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    China

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 9 publications

  • Provenance

    possibly Palace of Ten Thousand Years (near Peking/ Beijing), pre Oct 1900, Beijing/China, exported from China in 1900 by New South Wales Naval Contingent. Arrived in Sydney on the China Navigation Company Steamer SS Chingtu, 25 April 1901.

    Capt. Francis Hixson, 1901-28 Apr 1905, Double Bay/Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1905.