Overall: 86.5 x 37.5 cm (34 1/16 x 14 3/4 in.)
Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1935.147
Enthroned Planetary Deity is a powerful presence about three feet tall, made of a light-colored sandstone. He is a personification of one of the nine planets that protected a Buddhist temple; the short dagger in his left hand along with the mustache and stylized furrowed brow refer to his role as a fierce protector. His posture is that of royal ease, and his crown, massive earrings, and throne also mark him as a king of the heavens. The mark on his forehead refers to his association with enlightened beings. The meaning of a planetary deity as a guardian pertains to the consecration of the temple at a time when the planets were correctly aligned with the stars, so that the site and devotees will be protected from misfortune. The “face of glory” (kirtimukha) on the carved relief panel in front of his pedestal is an image pertaining to the creative energy (shakti) that is emitted from the temple itself, and it spits jewels and vegetal motifs that connote abundance and prosperity that will accrue to the worshippers who come to the temple.
This sculpture is one of the rare surviving examples of a sculpture from the Cham culture of central and southern Vietnam. It is documented to have come from the Dong Duong monastery, dedicated to Mahayana Buddhism.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.