The memorial stele for King Taejong Muyeol of Silla
Monuments built in the Unified Silla Dynasty were influenced by the Tang Dynasty of China and often have tortoise-shaped pedestals and ornamental tops in the form of hornless dragons. The Monument for the Royal Tomb of Taejong Muyeol (Taejong Muyeol Wangneung-bi) is a good example of this style.
The main body of the monument has disappeared, but the tortoise-shaped pedestal and ornamental top remain.
The tortoise extends its head upward and legs forward as if getting ready to move forward. There are large honeycomb-shaped hexagonal carvings on its back, and lotus flower designs decorate the part meant to support the main monument. The ornamental top in the form of a hornless dragon is made of three dragons on each side tangled to support a magic stone that bestows omnipotence.
The words “Taejong Muyeol” are inscribed on the center to honor the hero of the monument.
Name: Memorial Stele for King Taejong Muyeol of Silla
Period: Early part of the Unified Silla Period
Location: Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang
Status: National Treasure No. 25
More in Arts & Design
A Buddhist monk bops to Beethoven, artists in Estonia knit his brainwaves
The neighborhood of Seongsu offers style and substance
Artist Park Reyhun steps out of her husband's shadow and shines
2020.11.6 Museums & Galleries