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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Cambodian
Creator Dates/Places: Cambodia
Creator Active Place: Cambodia
Creator Name-CRT: Cambodia, Angkor Wat Period
Title: Buddha Sheltered by Mucalinda, the Serpent King
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1150
Creation Date: first half of 12th Century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: Overall: 58.4cm x 28cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1963.263
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Context: The Cambodian school of sculpture produced numerous stone images but was equally prolific in the production of bronzes, which became particularly popular during the Angkorean period (ninth to thirteenth centuries). This image represents the height of the Angkorean period and corresponds in date to the erection of the most famous of all Cambodian temples, Angkor Wat. Buddha is represented in the pose of meditation seated on the coils of the multiheaded serpent Mucalinda. In Cambodia, buddhas are frequently adorned with princely ornaments such as those seen here, including a crown, earrings, necklace, armlets, bracelets, and anklets. He wears a monastic robe drawn over the left shoulder with a rectangular lappet hanging from it. The figure represents the Buddha of Healing, Bhaishajyaguru, who was the only Buddhist deity popular during the reign of Jayavarman VII (ruled 1181-1219), a Hindu. The medicine jar in the upturned palm of Buddha's right hand verifies this identification. The presence of the naga (snake) symbolizes the protective power associated with serpents. It also refers to a popular story of how Buddha was protected during a torrential rainstorm by a cobra that spread its hood over Buddha's head to provide shelter and prevent the interruptionof his meditation shortly before he reached enlightenment. The figure is a portable image (chala chitra) that can be viewed from all sides. It is cast in three parts--the figure, the hollow coils, and the solid hood. There are still traces of gilding on the incisions of the serpent's scales. S.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1963.263
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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