A set of the Four Guardian Kings
A set of the Four Guardian Kings

NANBOKUCHO PERIOD (14TH CENTURY)

Details
A set of the Four Guardian Kings
Nanbokucho period (14th century)
The fierce guardian figures modeled in cypress wood in the joined-wood technique (yosegi), elaborately painted with polychrome pigments and gold, in Chinese-style robes and armor standing in a frontal pose on top of a defeated demon or demons, holding scroll, brush, spear, stupa or Vajras, the inlaid crystal eyes painted with black pupils ringed in gold, applied with metal fittings
30 in. (76.2 cm.) high each approx including base
Provenance
Baron Fujita Denzaburo (1841-1912), Osaka
Fujita Family, Osaka
Literature
Osaka Bijutsu Club, Fujita danshakuke zohin nyusatsu mokuroku (Auction catalogue of the collection of the Baron Fujita family) (Osaka: Osaka Bijutsu club, 1929), no. 334.
Exhibited
Fujita family principal residence, "Fujita danshakuke uritate tenran" (Auction preview of the collection of the Baron Fujita family), 1929.5.8-9
Sale room notice
Please note the date of these sculptures may be slightly later in date than stated in the catalogue

Brought to you by

Takaaki Murakami
Takaaki Murakami

Lot Essay

The Four Guardian Kings are mighty protectors of the Buddhist law. Clad in armor, they stand at the four corners of a Buddhist altar, protecting the principal image. Each represents one of the four cardinal directions. The aggressive stance and grimacing demeanor are standard for these guardians, whose mission is to ward off evil.
The Four Guardian Kings, in similar style, are illustrated in Miho Museum, ed., Omi: Spiritual Home of Kami and Hotoke, exh. cat (Shiga: Miho Museum, 2011), pp. 220-21.

More from AN INQUIRING MIND: AMERICAN COLLECTING OF JAPANESE AND KOREAN ART

View All
View All