H. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm); W. 56 in. (142.2 cm); D. 10 in. (25.4 cm)
Gift of Margery and Harry Kahn, 1985
Not on view
This lintel once graced the east entrance to an early Khmer brick sanctuary. Its uniqueness lies in its decoration, given to a single motif: a glaring, fearsome monster face with anthropomorphic arms and hands, emerging from luxuriant foliage. Where did such a creature originate? The protective kirttimukha (face of glory) is an ancient motif in Indian art. This mask also hints at Chinese dragons, such as the monster-faced anthropomorph in funerary sculpture of the Northern Qi and Sui dynasties (6th–7th century). This rare Khmer rendering of a monster mask is among the earliest known in a Southeast Asian context.