Exhibitions/ Art Object


Pre-Angkor period
7th century
Southern Cambodia
H. 29 1/8 in. (74 cm); W. 24 13/16 in. (63 cm); D. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm); Wt. 459 lbs (208.2 kg)
Credit Line:
Lent by National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh (Ka.1588)
Not on view
In the inscriptions of seventh-century Khmer-speaking territories, Ganesha is consistently called by one of his more popular early names, Ganapati, or “lord of the ganas,” Shiva’s mischievous dwarfish helpers. His pot-bellied form almost certainly betrays his yaksha origins as a fertility deity linked to agriculture, perhaps Kubera, given the god’s association with wealth. It is evident from this Khmer example that by the seventh century Zhenla artists had developed a specific style for this most enigmatic of deities that transcended the Gupta models on which it was based. Invocations to Ganapati began appearing in Khmer epigraphy during the same period.

cat. no. 99
Discovered at Toul Pheak Kin, Kuk Trap, Kandal Stueng district, Svay Rieng province, Cambodia. Transferred on 26th July 1924 to the National Museum of Cambodia.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century," April 14, 2014–July 27, 2014.

Groslier, G., Les Collections Khmères du Musée Albert Sarraut a Phnom-Penh, Ars Asiatica, Paris, 1931: 99; Dupont, P., La Statuaire Preangkorienne, Ascona, 1955: 60-61, PL. 21-d; Giteau, M., Guide du musée national de Phnom Penh, I: Sculpture, Phnom Penh, 1960: 6; Bhattacharya, K., Les Religions Brahamaniques dans l’Ancien Cambodge, Paris: École Française d'Extrême-Orient, 1961: 131-136, PL. 27; Boisselier, Jean. Le Cambodge, Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne 1966: 290-91; Ibbitson Jessup, H. and Zephir, T., (eds), Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia: Millennium of Glory, New York, London: Thames and Hudson, 1997: 180-181; Dalsheimer N., Les collections du muse national de Phnom Penh: L’art du Cambodge ancient, Paris, Magellan & Cie : Ecole française d'extrême-orient, 2001: 99; Khun Samen, The New Guide to the National Museum, Phnom Penh, 2002: 72-3; Masterpieces of the National Museum of Cambodia: An Introduction to the Collection, Hong Kong, 2006: 34-35.