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Head of a Male Deity

Asian Art

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.
MEDIUM Gray sandstone
  • Place Made: Cambodia
  • DATES 540-600 C.E.
    DIMENSIONS 10 x 5 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1996.210.3
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Georgia and Michael de Havenon
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1996, provenance not yet documented; by 1996, acquired by Galerie Beurdeley et Cie., Paris, France; 1996, purchased from Galerie Beurdeley et Cie. by Georgia and Michael de Havenon of New York, NY; 1996, gift of Georgia and Michael de Havenon to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, North, 2nd floor (Japan)
    CAPTION 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)
    IMAGE overall, 1996.210.3_overall_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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