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Guardian figure

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

  • Geography

  • Material

  • Dimension

    H: 233.5 cm (91 15/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    ca. 1235-?
    Ebaradera ??? (now Ebara-ji ???), Sakai, Osaka prefecture commissioned pair of guardian figures [1]
    ?-around 1932
    Unidentified dealer in Nara, Japan acquired from temple [2]
    Around 1932-1949
    Hugues Le Gallais (1896-1964), purchased from dealer in Nara, Japan [3]
    From 1949
    The Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Hugues Le Gallais [4]
    [1] See Akisato Rito, "Izumi meisho zue ??????" [book] Vol. 1 (Takahashi Heisuke, 1796) for an account of the history of the temple and its renovations, especially the one in 1245, when these wooden sculptures were likely commissioned. See also inscription of the temple name on the tenon, which projects downward from the sole of the left foot of F1949.20.
    [2] Huges Le Gallais was the Ambassador of Luxembourg to the United States from 1940 through his retirement in 1958. In 1945, he was a member of the Luxembourg delegation to the San Francisco Conference that formed the United Nations. Before a career in foreign service, Le Gallais worked for the Luxembourg Steel Corporation. Between 1918 through 1938, he worked for the company in Paris, London, Saarbrücken, Tokyo, and Bombay. Le Gallais reported that he purchased the pair of sculptures (F1949.20 and F1949.21) from a "well known dealer in Nara" who had acquired them from the temple. See Hughes Le Gallais, "A Pair of Japanese Temple Guardians" in Gazette des Beaux Arts (September / October 1947), 122.
    [3] See note 2.
    [4] See invoice from Hugues Le Gallais, dated September 19, 1949, copy in object file.
    Research completed December 23, 2022
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Promise of Paradise (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Beyond the Legacy--Anniversary Acquisitions of the Freer Gallery of Art (October 11, 1998 to April 11, 1999)
    Freer North Corridor (May 9. 1993 to January 3, 2016)
    Untitled Exhibition, North Corridor, 1969 (November 20, 1969 to December 11, 1984)
    Centennial Exhibition, North Corridor (February 25, 1956 to November 20, 1969)
    Untitled Exhibition, Asian Sculpture, North Corridor (May 2, 1923 to October 28, 1955)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Hugues Le Gallais (1896-1964)
    Ebara-ji ???
  • Origin

  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer North Corridor
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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