Cambodian / Head of Buddha / Angkor period, Bayon style, 12th-13th centuryCambodian
Head of Buddha
Angkor period, Bayon style, 12th-13th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Cambodian
Creator Name-CRT: Cambodian
Title: Head of Buddha
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1299
Creation Date: Angkor period, Bayon style, 12th-13th century
Creation Place: Cambodia
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: sandstone
Dimensions: H. 13 in. (33 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.071
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: The study of Cambodian and Thai sculpture dating from the 10th to 14th centuries is primarily the study of the civilization and culture of the Khmer empire. The Khmers inhabited and controlled parts of mainland Southeast Asia from the 6th century onward.Historically, they are best known for the era called the Angkor period (c. 802-1431), named for the Khmer capital. Angkor remains one of the most remarkable cities in world history and is noted for the vast number of breathtaking monuments constructed there from the 10th to 13th centuries. These structures range from relatively small temples to the gigantic temple mountains of Baphuon and Angkor Wat. Most of the temples are profusely decorated, and Khmer sculpture is generally dated by reference to such monuments, with classifications such as 'Baphuon style.'

This head of a Buddha is assigned to the Bayon style, referring to Jayavarman VII's city within a city, Angkor Thom, which had as its center the Bayon, a temple mountain constructed c. 1180-c. 1230. The large area of unfinished stone at the back of this head indicates that it is a fragment from a larger work. Cambodian sculptors worked almost exclusively in the round, and the back of the head would have been carved unless attached in front of another piece of stone. One possible explanation is that the head was once part of an image of a Buddha Shakyamuni (without a crown) sheltered under the hood of the giant cobra Muchilinda. The hooded cobra would have been attached to the head at the unfinishedarea. The oval shape of the Buddha's head and the mild elongation of his features are characteristic of works dating to the end of the Angkor period, and in particular at Bayon.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 35.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Hong Kong and Singapore: Hong Kong Museum of Art and National Museum Singapore, 1993, pp. 96, 97.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Tokyo: Idemitsu Museum of Arts, 1992, pp. 71, 133.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.071
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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