No image available

Naga-enthroned Buddha

Naga-enthroned Buddha

1100-1150

Part of a set. See all set records

Bronze

Overall: 58.4 x 28 cm (23 x 11 in.); Figure: 31.4 x 27.6 x 18.5 cm (12 3/8 x 10 7/8 x 7 5/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1963.263.a

Description

The crowned Buddha on a seven-headed serpent (naga) depicts a transcendent Buddha, in contrast to a historical Buddha. Distinctive to the Khmer kingdom, this image was especially important for King Jayavarman VII, who reigned 1181-1218, when tantric Buddhism was the state-sponsored religion. He considered the Naga-enthroned Buddha to be the ideal form of an enlightened being, and used the image to refer metaphorically to himself.

After the 13th century in Southeast Asia, images of the Naga-enthroned Buddha were appropriated by followers of a form of Buddhism that emphasized the life of the historical Buddha. The images then came to be understood as depictions of a scene just after the Buddha's own enlightenment when a serpent shielded him during a flood, so that he could continue his meditations without drowning.

See also
Collection: 
Cambodian Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Bronze

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.