Head of a Guardian

  • Tang dynasty
  • Limestone
  • H-25.5
    Longmen Caves Research Institute
Catalogue Entry

Limestone/ Tang dynasty/ H. 25.5 cm/ Longmen Caves Research Institute
The left half of the topknot and the tip of the nose are missing. This guardian with closed mouth has angry looking eyes, and there are two wrinkle lines of へ shape between the eyebrows. This warrior head with a closed-mouth is much more symmetrical in handling than that of the guardian head exhibited at cat. No. 24. Also, the handling here is somewhat more advanced than either cat. No. 37, the guardian excavated from Leigutai, or the guardian from Gaopingjunwangdong Cave on the north face of the Wanfogou on the East Hill said to have been created between Tianshou 1 (690) and Shenlong 1 (705). The expression on the present guardian is even closer to that found in the guardians, one on the north wall of Niche no. 563 in the Wanfogou on the East Hill and another in the Huijiandong Cave. Thus, it can be surmised that this head was created at the beginning of the 8th century, around the time of the creation of images at the Jinandong Cave.