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Jonathan Tucker

Sandstone Head of Vishnu
Khmer, Pre-angkor period
7th-8th century
Grey sandstone
20 cms (8 ½ ins)

An exceptional grey sandstone head of a male deity, probably Vishnu, with an enigmatic smile; wearing large earrings and a tall, slightly tapering mitre headdress.

Vishnu, together with Brahma and Siva, is one of the members of the Hindu trimurti (Skt. ‘Triple Form’). Vishnu becomes incarnate in different divine forms (avatars) from age to age in order to preserve the world.
This style of Pre-Khmer sculpture used to be referred to as Prasat Andet. For a related image in the Cleveland Museum of Art, see plate 14 in Emma Bunker and Douglas Latchford, Adoration and Glory: The Golden Age of Khmer Art, Chicago: Art Media Resources, 2004.

PROVENANCE: Property of a private English collector. Acquired by the owner’s father during employment with the British Foreign Service during the 1950s or 1960s.

all text, images © Jonathan Tucker


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