Korea / Rafter finial in the shape of a dragon head and wind chime / Late Unified Silla (668?935)?early Koryô dynasty (918?1392) , 10th centuryKorea
Rafter finial in the shape of a dragon head and wind chime
Late Unified Silla (668?935)?early Koryô dynasty (918?1392) , 10th century

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. www.davidrumsey.com/amica offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit www.davidrumsey.com/amica for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at amica@luna-img.com .

Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Korean
Creator Dates/Places: Korea
Creator Name-CRT: Korea
Title: Rafter finial in the shape of a dragon head and wind chime
View: Principal view
Creation Start Date: 1000
Creation End Date: 1099
Creation Date: Late Unified Silla (668?935)?early KoryƓ dynasty (918?1392) , 10th century
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Materials and Techniques: Gilt Bronze
Dimensions: Finial: L. 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm), Chime: H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm)

This expertly cast, lavishly gilt bronze finial in the shape of a dragon's head and the accompanying bell are among the finest pieces of metalwork of the late Unified Silla and early KoryƓ dynasties, when Korean art had digested Chinese influence and developed a mature native style characterized by refinement and sumptuousness. The imposing dragon's head originally graced one of the corner rafters of a Buddhist temple or a royal hall. The bell, which functioned as a wind chime, would have been suspended from the iron loop at the dragon's mouth by an S-shaped iron hook, which is now corroded but intact. In contrast to larger bells, which were sounded by striking the surface with a wooden mallet or stake, this small bell had a metal-plate clapper (now lost) attached to its interior.

An auspicious symbol as well as a decorative motif, the dragon is one of the most popular images in Korean art and culture. It is viewed as a guardian figure that protects humans and wards off evil spirits. The dramatic features of this example?large staring eyes, flaring nostrils, wide-open mouth with protruding sharp fangs, and single horn?convey a fierceness and invincibility in keeping with such apotropaic functions. The theme of protectiveness is echoed in the decoration on the bell, which features a svastika, a Buddhist symbol of safety and peace.

AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York
ID Number: 1999.263ab
Credit Line: Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1999 Benefit Fund, and The Rosenkranz Foundation Inc. Gift, 1999
Copyright: Copyright ? 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
Rights: http://www.metmuseum.org/education/er_photo_lib.asp
AMICA ID: MMA_.1999.263ab
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright (c) 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. All Rights Reserved

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at www.davidrumsey.com/amica/institution_subscribe.html c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.