Green Glazed Tile with Four Devas
From Sach'ŏnwangsa Temple site (Unified Silla , c 679)
* Gyeongju (Kyŏngju) National Museum collection
The Four Devas are the guardians who stay at the four directions of the middle of Mt. Sumisan , which is the center of the Buddhist world. They comply with the Buddhist laws and protect the public. In India , they are expressed as nobles, but while they became known to North Asia and across Central Asia , their images changed to armored angry figures holding arms in their hands. The Four Devas of Korea come from China , and they became transformed into gods upholding the law or protecting the country in the process of unifying the Three Kingdoms by Silla. In this tile, the Four Devas are engraved in relief. They were first found in the two Stupas of Sach'ŏnwangsa Temple as broken pieces during the Japanese colonial period and were later reassembled. The Four Devas have a balanced body ratio and wear realistically described armor. The facial expressions of pain of the evil spirits being stepped on by the Four Devas, the muscular legs with projected bones, and the dynamic body gestures represent the culmination of realistic sculpture of the early Unified Silla period. Overall, the nuance of the countries bordering western China can be strongly felt. In addition to the Four Devas expressed on the Sarira Case of Kamŭnsa Temple, it is presumed to have been made by Yangji.