Adaptation and transmission in early east Asian funerary arts: The three Goguryeo Four Spirits Tombs in Ji'an, China
Posted on 16. Aug, 2010 by James Miller
|Title||Adaptation and transmission in early east Asian funerary arts: The three Goguryeo Four Spirits Tombs in Ji'an, China|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Sutherland, Heather B.|
|ISBN Number||1109710550, 9781109710557|
|Keywords||ARCHAEOLOGY, Art history, Asian Studies, History|
The Donggou Four Spirits Tomb and Five Helmets Tombs 4 and 5 located in Ji'an, China are the subject of this dissertation. The tombs' structures and the main theme of their pictorial programs, the Four Spirits (the Green Dragon, the Red Bird, the White Tiger, the Dark Warrior, and, sometimes, the Yellow Dragon), identify them as belonging to the late Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BCE-668 CE), one of the Korean Three Kingdoms. However, the interior decoration displays a multitude of regional variations making them unique among Goguryeo tombs with murals. Stylistically, the tomb paintings clearly belong to the sixth or early-seventh century. However, the main images and ideology the Ji'an murals represent can be traced to developments that occurred in Han China (202 BCE-220 CE) and demonstrate an affinity for and deep understanding of ancient Chinese mythology and cosmology. This study attempts to identify and analyze the myriad images within the three Ji'an Four Spirits tombs.