H. 51 1/2 in. (130.8 cm); W. 14 in. (35.6 cm); D. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
From the Collection of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1988
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 249
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)