VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Buddha
MG 18891
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Conditions which arise from a cause, the Tathagata has said the cause thereof is suppression. This is the doctrine of the great ascetic.” This classic saying from the Lesser Vehicle Buddhism (Hinayana), recalling the foundation of Buddha’s thought, features in the rear of this sculpture, incised in the stone. The text in Pali is dated to the 7th century, which is the oldest witnessed in Cambodia. It is contemporary evidence of that Buddha. In accordance with Indian tradition, this figure can be identified by certain features shared by exceptional beings, the most obvious of which are the hair with the locks all curling in the same direction, and the protuberant skull. The Buddha is arrayed in the traditional monastic costume, made up of two pieces of material laid over each other, which cling to the body, revealing its curves according to a principle inherited from the Guptan-period India (5th century). Strictly frontal, the Buddha is making the Gesture of Debate with his right hand. The left hand, now lost, was doubtless forming the same gesture, according to an iconographic type frequently found in the Mon art of Dvaravati (in the centre of present-day Thailand), with which this work bears many analogies.

History of the Object
Discovered during archaeological works conducted by Robert Dalet in 1935 under the aegis of the French School of Asian Studies. The work was sent to France in 1936.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Stoneware 
Measurements
Height 94 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Cambodia; Kompong Speu Province; Tuol Preah Theat 
Geography
Cambodia 
Time period
AD 7th century ~ AD 8th century 
Creation date
7th - 8th Century 
Function
Image of worship in a Buddhist sanctuary 
Acquisition
This work was part of a selection of Khmer sculptures which enabled the major stages of the evolution of art in ancient Cambodia to be presented in Paris. Put together by the French School of Asian Studies in 1936, this selection had been made with a view to presenting high quality objects in France that would demonstrate the French archaeological work undertaken in this part of the world, while leaving the most precious masterpieces in Cambodia on display in the Phnom Penh National Museum
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Owned by the French State - Paris, Guimet Museum. 
Museum
Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet 
Credit line
 
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