Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Portrait of the Sinhalese King Sri Vikrama Raja Sinha (r. 1798–1815)

Period:
Kandyan period (1480–1815)
Date:
early 19th century
Culture:
Sri Lanka (Kandy district)
Medium:
Ivory with engraved and painted design
Dimensions:
H. 9 in. (22.9 cm); W. 3 in. (7.6 cm); D. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Drs. Sandran and Shantha Paramesh Waran Gift, 2010
Accession Number:
2010.142
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 242
This portrait of the last Kandyan king displays his regalia of office: the six-pointed crown, a long shirt (kamisiya), a tunic (bo-hettya), and a cape (mante), over which hangs a floral pendant. He wears patterned trousers and is barefooted. A curious continuity with Buddha images is provided by the hand gestures, which mimic those of the Buddha: one raised, the other lowered and holding the robe. Such portraits are rare and were probably produced as presentation gifts for visiting diplomats.
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