This figure is the most intact metal image surviving from Angkor. It belongs to a small group of metal sculptures of Hindu deities associated with royal cult practices that was discovered in Khmer territories in Cambodia and northeastern Thailand. Although it defies ready identification — the gesturing hands neither conform to a standard iconographic mudra nor hold key attributes — the figure may portray Shiva in anthropomorphic form, an unusual representation in Khmer art. It is possible that the sculpture served a dual purpose, representing primarily a cult icon for worship in a royal sanctuary and also acting as an ancestor image of a deceased ruler.
[ Spink & Son Ltd. , London, by 1988; sold to Annenberg ] ; Walter H. Annenberg , Sunnylands, CA (until 1988; donated to MMA)