Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Buddha Protected by a Seven-headed Naga

Period:
Angkor period
Date:
late 12th–early 13th century
Culture:
Cambodia
Medium:
Sandstone
Dimensions:
H. 35 in. (88.9 cm); W. 22 in. (55.9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
36.96.5
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 249
This fragmentary sculpture, reportedly found south of the temple of Chausay Tevoda outside Angkor Thom, is in the late twelfth-century style of the Bayon. It originally portrayed Siddhartha before his enlightenment, meditating while seated on the coils of a giant naga (serpent). According to legend, a huge cobra shielded the future Buddha from a storm sent to distract him from his meditation and thereby prevent his ultimate salvation.
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