Shiva, Sandstone, Southern Cambodia

Shiva

Period:
pre-Angkor period
Date:
mid- 7th century
Culture:
Southern Cambodia
Medium:
Sandstone
Dimensions:
H. 24 in. (61 cm); W. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm); D. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.17
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 245
Sculptures of Shiva in human form began to appear in Khmer art in the seventh century, probably in response to the rising popularity of the Vaishnava cult that celebrated Vishnu as a king-like divinity, accessible and benign. The slim, almost adolescent figure displays a disconcerting realism in the modeling of the pectoral muscles and the subtle suggestion of the underlying ribcage. Yet the face is strong and authoritative—the face of a stern god—with a mustache, full lips, and strong arched eyebrows. A vertical third eye marks the forehead.

cat. no. 90
[ Obsidian , London, until 1987, sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century," April 14, 2014–July 27, 2014.