A PAINTED CERAMIC FUNERARY MODEL OF A HEAVENLY KING
China, Tang dynasty
The figure proudly standing with his feet to crush the demon that constitutes the base of the sculpture, the right leg raised to the knee, the right arm raised with the hand that once held a lightning, the left arm resting on the corresponding side, the figure dressed in a mighty armor, on the head a hat with a protuberance in the center, traces of polychromy.
80 cm high
Provenance: Fabrizio Savi collection, acquired from Anthony J. Allen, Auckland, New Zealand, between 1995 and 2000.
The heavenly kings (tianwang; in Sanskrit lokapala) are deities who oversee the four cardinal points, of Hindu origin and later entered into the Buddhist pantheon. Sculptures and paintings depicting them are common throughout East Asia. They are also found very frequently in the funerary contexts of the Tang period, to guide the procession of figures who escort the deceased