Skip Navigation

Figure of Bhaisajyaguru (Buddha of Healing)

Asian Art

CULTURE Khmer
MEDIUM Bronze
  • Place Made: Cambodia
  • DATES ca. 12th century
    PERIOD Angkor period
    DIMENSIONS 7 11/16 x 3 1/4 x 2 3/8 in. (19.5 x 8.3 x 6 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 71.166
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Alice Kaplan
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

    Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Khmer. Figure of Bhaisajyaguru (Buddha of Healing), ca. 12th century. Bronze, 7 11/16 x 3 1/4 x 2 3/8 in. (19.5 x 8.3 x 6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alice Kaplan, 71.166. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 71.166_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A small image of a Buddha seated in the posture of meditation (Dhyanasana) on the coils of the serpent Muchalinda. The multi-headed hoods of the snake, which originally sheltered the figure, and which was cast as a separate piece, is now missing. The Buddha is adorned with all the princely ornaments, such as the crown, earrings, necklace, armlets, wristlets and anklets. The iconography of the figure presents a problem. It is possible that this stele may represent the Buddha of Healing, Bhaisajyaguru, who is the only Buddha mentioned in the epigraphy of Khmer ruler Jayavarman VII, and who was apparently quite popular during his reign (Boisselier, Le Cambodge, Manuel d'Archaeologie d'Extreme-Orient, Pt. 1: Asie du Sud-East, vol. 1, Paris 1966, p. 301). The flask with a slightly painted top in the upturned pal of this Buddha's right hand, which is a symbol of Bhaisajyaguru, may speak in favor of this theory. On the other hand, this jar appears in the hands of Buddhas on many occasions and is not sufficient to make a definite iconographical attribution (see Margaret Marcus, "Buddha sheltered by Mucalinda," The Cleveland Museum Bulletin, p. 185) the presence of the naga in these figures may symbolize the protective power associated with serpents (ibid pp. 186-7). The figure is a portable image in the round (chala chitra) and can be viewed from all sides. Condition: snake hood missing. Bronze had slight traces of bronze disease around the face and neck. See restoration report 7/89.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (60%)
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
    Figure of Bhaisajyaguru (Buddha of Healing)