Skip to Content
Closed today, next open tomorrow. Closed today, next open tomorrow.

Dragon King

A work made of magnolia wood with traces of pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of magnolia wood with traces of pigment.


11th/early 12th century



About this artwork

This wooden sculpture is believed to belong to a group of more than twenty Shinto deities (kami) thought to have come from the Izumo district on the north coast of the island of Honshu. Thanks to recent research, it has been determined it is made from magnolia wood, a rare material for Shinto sculptures. The Dragon King, originally an Indian Hindu god, was gradually incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon. Veneration of this deity, who rules the seas, spread with Buddhism from India to China, and via Korea to Japan; there the Dragon King was further transformed into a Shinto god.


On View, Gallery 103


Arts of Asia


Dragon King


Japan (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Magnolia wood with traces of pigment


H.: 102.2 cm (40 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Robert Allerton

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions