Grave Guardian Beast (Zhenmu Shou)

A work made of wood with polychrome pigments and lacquer horns.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood with polychrome pigments and lacquer horns.

Date:

Eastern Zhou dynasty, Warring States period (480–221 B.C.), 4th/3rd century B.C.

Artist:

China

About this artwork

Antlered creatures with long, protruding tongues are the most distinctive burial gifts that have been discovered in Chu tombs. "Antler and tongue" figures may have been used in shamanistic rituals or may represent local deities. Typically centered at the head of the coffin, perhaps to protect the deceased from evil, such grotesque images assume a variety of forms with single or double heads. The painted scrollwork on this example is unusually well preserved.

On View

Asian Art, Gallery 133

Title

Grave Guardian Beast (Zhenmu Shou)

Origin

China

Date

400 BC–201 BC

Medium

Wood with polychrome pigments and lacquer horns

Dimensions

48.9 × 25.5 × 20.0 cm (19 1/4 × 10 1/16 × 7 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Florene M. Schoenborn

Reference Number

1986.1308

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 .

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