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The guardian Weituo
Place of Origin: China
Date: approx. 1500-1600
Historical Period: Ming dynasty (1368-1644)
Materials: Ink and colors on silk
Dimensions: H. 66 1/4 in x W. 38 1/2 in, H. 168.3 cm x W. 97.8 cm
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of Albert M. Bender
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B80D3
On Display: No

Description

Label:

明朝無名氏璉法天神栵槀晏像絹本痓綎

The Buddhist deity Weituo is shown as a young warrior clad in armor and holding a weapon across his hands. Chinese Buddhist temples sometimes feature a statue or a painting of this temple guardian and protector of books and libraries at the back section of the temple facing the main hall.

In this example, Weituo is portrayed as a young warrior with a white face. Dressed in armor, he stands in a martial pose with feet apart, resting his hands on his weapon. Epaulets with lion masks decorate his shoulders and boots. Similar masks with pendant ornaments hang over his thighs. His chest is protected by a mirror, known as the "mirror for protecting one's heart," which deflects arrows aimed at one's chest; the mirror also reflects light into the enemy's eyes. A fish hangs below the mirror. Ribbons and scarves billow from the deity, giving the image a sense of movement. Weituo is the leader among the thirty-two warriors serving the Guardians of the Four Directions, who are seen at the main entrance to Chinese temples, and he is one of the eight warriors serving the Guardian of the South in particular. It is said that Weituo is a form of Skanda, the god of war, who is the son of the Hindu deity Shiva.


Label:

明朝無名氏璉法天神栵槀晏像絹本痓綎

The Buddhist deity Weituo is shown as a young warrior clad in armor and holding a weapon across his hands. Chinese Buddhist temples sometimes feature a statue or a painting of this temple guardian and protector of books and libraries at the back section of the temple facing the main hall.

In this example, Weituo is portrayed as a young warrior with a white face. Dressed in armor, he stands in a martial pose with feet apart, resting his hands on his weapon. Epaulets with lion masks decorate his shoulders and boots. Similar masks with pendant ornaments hang over his thighs. His chest is protected by a mirror, known as the "mirror for protecting one's heart," which deflects arrows aimed at one's chest; the mirror also reflects light into the enemy's eyes. A fish hangs below the mirror. Ribbons and scarves billow from the deity, giving the image a sense of movement. Weituo is the leader among the thirty-two warriors serving the Guardians of the Four Directions, who are seen at the main entrance to Chinese temples, and he is one of the eight warriors serving the Guardian of the South in particular. It is said that Weituo is a form of Skanda, the god of war, who is the son of the Hindu deity Shiva.


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