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ARCHITECTURE & ICONOGRAPHY

  

 

 

  Chinese door gods

 

China

The custom of using Chinese door gods to guard the front doors of houses reportedly started in the Tang Dynasty, when its founding emperor was troubled by an evil spirit and had two of his brave generals guard the front doors of his palace. Since the generals were not fulltime available, the emperor ordered their portraits painted on his front door instead.

 

The imperial custom was later adapted by commoners and became folk tradition, sometimes replacing the two generals with other figures from legend or mythology.

 

  Chinese door gods