Head of the Buddha, 12th-13th century

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Bequest of Alfred F. Pillsburyexpand_more  50.46.222

G213expand_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.

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Head of a Buddha, Cambodia (#191)
Details
Title
Head of the Buddha
Role
Artist
Accession Number
50.46.222
Curator Approved

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