明 黃銅鎏金天王像 Guardian, probably a Lokapala (Tian wang)
Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
early 17th century
Gilt brass; lost-wax cast
H. 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm); W. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm); D. 5 in. (12.7 cm)
Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 2002
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 208
Guardians of various types play an important role in religious imagery, literature, and the performing and visual arts. This figure is most likely one of the four heavenly protectors of Buddhism who serve as guardians of the cardinal directions.