University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

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Object Number:C656
Current Location: China Gallery
Currently On Display
Provenience: China
Neiqiu County
Period: Northern Wei Dynasty
Date Made: 4th-5th Century
Early Date: 300
Late Date: 499
Iconography:Winged Lion
Height: 152.4cm
Length: 208.3cm
Width: 78.4cm
Credit Line:Purchased from C. T. Loo, 1927


One of a pair of colossal stone winged lions (C656 and C657). Male. The winged lion is a mythical animal primarily containing lion and dragon features. They are often placed in pairs at the beginning of a pathway that leads to a burial mound. Depicted in a running motion, this and its female counterpart demonstrate strength and power through emphasis on muscle. It was believed that they would enhance the dignity of the tomb, glorify the memory of the deceased and protect against evil spirits. This piece has one horn and a beard falling onto its chest. The legs, tail, and ears are broken and partly missing.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Chinese Rotunda (1968)View Objects in Exhibition
Chinese Halls (1941 - 1966)View Objects in Exhibition


[Article] Till, Barry. 1980. Some Observations on Stone Winged Chimeras at Ancient Tomb Sites. Artibus Asiae. 42 (4): pp. 261-281. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Fig. 14a,bView Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Horne, Lee C. 1985. Introduction to the Collections of The University Museum. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 59View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1941. The Chinese Collections of The University Museum: A Handbook of the Principal Objects. The University Museum Bulletin. 9 (2-3) Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: Fig. 3View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Jayne, Horace H. F. 1939. Chinese Art at the University Museum. Parnassus. 11 (1) Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: IllustrationView Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] March, Benjamin. 1929. China and Japan in our Museums. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 87View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Siren, Osvald. 1928. Winged Chimeras in Early Chinese Art. Eastern Art. Volume I (No. 2): 86-96. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 86-96, Plates 9, 10View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Fernald, Helen E. 1927. Two Colossal Stone Chimeras from A Chinese Tomb. The Museum Journal. Volume XVIII (No. 2): 159-173. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 159-173View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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