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Head of Vishnu

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, North, 2nd floor (Japan)

This head has been identified as a Cambodian sculpture of early date by the fragment of a supporting tenon for a halo still attached at the back. The conical headdress is worn by images of Vishnu and the female divinity Durga.

MEDIUM Sandstone
DATES 7th century
PERIOD Pre-Angkor period
DIMENSIONS 5 7/8 x 2 15/16 in. (14.9 x 7.5 cm) mount (dims using mount m1): 6 1/2 × 3 1/2 × 5 1/4 in. (16.5 × 8.9 × 13.3 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Henry L. Moses
PROVENANCE Prior to 1976, provenance not yet documented; by 1976, acquired by Lucy Goldschmidt Moses of New York, NY; 1976, gift of Lucy Goldschmidt Moses to the Brooklyn Museum.
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Head of a crowned deity, probably Vishnu. Round face with full cheeks; narrow, almond-shaped eyes (open to delineated pupils); arched eyebrows joined at the bridge of the nose; aquiline nose; full lips, upturned at edges suggesting a smile; cylindrical headdress covering hair. Head is broken off below neck; part of right shoulder remains. Section of nimbus (?) remains at viewer's left. Scratch above right brow. Piece arrived with its own lucite base. Condition: sandstone has reddish tan discoloration. Stained and slightly worn throughout. Wear apparent at outer edge of brows, left eye, nose, edge of lips. Chip to top of nose and under nose. Upper edge of right ear chipped. Two deep crevices on top left of headdress and nimbus. Small scratch on left cheek.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, North, 2nd floor (Japan)
CAPTION Head of Vishnu, 7th century. Sandstone, 5 7/8 x 2 15/16 in. (14.9 x 7.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Henry L. Moses, 76.44. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 76.44_overall_PS11.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 76.44_overall_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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