late 1100s–early 1200s
Part of a set. See all set records
Overall: 42 x 18.5 x 3 cm (16 9/16 x 7 5/16 x 1 3/16 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1964.93
Bronze images such as this were used to transfer a sacred presence from one temple to another.
The Buddha sits surrounded by a circle of flaming jewels and full-blown lotus petals. Two rearing serpents emblematic of the glory of the Khmer Empire emerge from either side of his lotus pedestal. The Buddha’s right hand points down in the earth-touching gesture, and his left hand holds a round object, probably a special rice offering that indicates the Buddha’s power to ensure ongoing prosperity of the land.
The branches of the pipal tree under which the Buddha reached enlightenment top the composition. Beneath his lotus pedestal, the earth goddess wrings the waters from her hair that wash away the army of Mara, the grimacing demons holding clubs and shields who flee to either side.
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