Head of a Male Deity
On View: Asian Galleries, North, 2nd floor (Japan)
With its round, soft features and narrow eyes, this head is typical of the earliest Cambodian stone sculptures. In this period, Cambodian rulers strove to adopt and emulate aspects of Indian culture that had traveled to Southeast Asia via maritime trade and missionaries. Most of the sculptures from this early period are Hindu in subject matter, whereas the seated Buddha atop this head indicates that it represents a Buddhist deity. It is likely that this image originally represented a Hindu deity, probably the god Vishnu, who wears a tall crown, and that it was repurposed as a Buddhist image at a later date by carving the Buddha into the stone of the crown.
Gift of Georgia and Michael de Havenon
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Head of a Male Deity, 540-600 C.E. Gray sandstone, 10 x 5 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Georgia and Michael de Havenon, 1996.210.3. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1996.210.3_overall_PS11.jpg)
overall, 1996.210.3_overall_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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