Guardian Lion

Cambodia or Thailand

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 249

Guardian lions flanked the main approaches to the sanctuary of most Khmer temples and were also placed along the stairways and on terraces. The lion, representing royalty, strength, and courage, was the personal symbol of the Khmer kings, who were believed to be gods as well. Therefore, the lion as guardian of the sacred precinct suggested the ability to ward off evil through both divine and royal protection.

Guardian Lion, Stone, Cambodia or Thailand

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