gilt bronze group of a warrior in full armour seated astride a walking and armoured horse

Warrior Prince (Guan Yu), 16th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Gilt bronzeexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  98.77.3a,b

G201expand_more

Guan Yu (162-219 CE) was a famous warrior whose exploits were popularized in the fourteenth century novel San Guo Zhi Yan Yi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms). He was exalted during later dynasties and in 1594 the Wanli emperor awarded him the title "Faithful and Loyal Great God Supporter of Heaven and Protector of the Kingdom." He is shown here in full armor astride his war horse. Typifying the robust style of middle Ming sculpture, such an image would have appealed greatly to aristocratic members of the military bureaucracy. Guan Yu was a favorite "household god" during Ming and Qing, but temples were also dedicated to him. Civil and military officials alike worshiped his image on the 15th day of the second month and 13th day of the fifth month. His protective image was often placed in the first hall of Buddhist temples.

Details
Title
Warrior Prince (Guan Yu)
Role
Artist
Accession Number
98.77.3a,b
Curator Approved

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gilt bronze group of a warrior in full armour seated astride a walking and armoured horse