Head of the Buddha, 12th-13th century



Bequest of Alfred F. Pillsburyexpand_more  50.46.222

Not on Viewexpand_more

Makers of Buddhist icons use some common conventions when depicting buddhas. Elongated earlobes indicate his enlightened status, for example, while the prominent pyramidal shape on top of the head, called an ushnisha, represents the larger brain attained through enlightenment. This head belongs stylistically to the latter part of the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1181–1219), a devout Buddhist who established the Bayon as his state temple in the Khmer capital of Angkor and commissioned numerous Buddhist sculptures to fill that space and others. This work is a prime example of a new style developed during his reign based on more naturalistic body and face types distinguished by faint smiles, closed eyes, and hair rendered like a tight-fitting cap with a lotus-shaped bun.



Head of a Buddha, Cambodia (#191)
Head of the Buddha
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.