- Provenance information is currently unavailable
- Previous Owner(s)
Albert Bouasse-Lebel 1868 - 1955
The Buddha is seated in meditation on a lobed lotus pedestal, beneath the canopy of a separately cast Bodhi tree. His spine is straight and shoulders wide, surrounded by a flat back plate with radiating flames and naga finials on both sides. Rows of miniature Buddhas encircle the square base. The surface is covered with a lustrous green patina flecked with blue.
This sculpture belongs to a horde of seven Khmer bronze images excavated from a site in Vietnam. The group includes Buddhist and Hindu deities and ritual objects, all of which are small in scale--at less than a foot high, the Freer bronze is the largest. After a French forest ranger discovered them in 1919, they made their way into American museums in Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Kansas City, and Washington, DC.
Little research has been done on the origins of the group--where the sculptures were made, how they were used, why they traveled, for example. For centuries, portable bronze figures were instrumental in the spread of Indian traditions across Asia. The small stature of these bronzes suggests several possible purposes. Some of them may have been battle standards carried in royal or ritual processions. Relief carvings from temples in the Angkor area show such objects. The group was likely a consecration deposit or sacred offering for a temple, as the seemingly deliberate burial would suggest.
- Published References
- Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. p. 11.
- Sherman Lee. Ancient Cambodian Sculpture. no. 2, Vol. 31 New York. p. 24, fig. 15.
- Sherman Lee. A Cambodian Bronze Hoard. no. 2, vol. 31 New York, 1943. pp. 78-83, fig. 1.
- George Coedes. Une Exposition de Sculptures Khmeres et Siamoises au Musee Cernushi. vol. 1, no. 3 Washington and Zurich. pp. 197-197, pl. 3.
- Dr. Hiram Woodward. The Art and Architecture of Thailand: From Prehistoric Times Through the Thirteenth Century. Handbook of Oriental studies, 1st ed. Leiden and Boston. p. 210, fig. 70b.
- Emma C. Bunker Douglas Latchford. Khmer Bronzes: New Interpretations of the Past. Chicago. p. 510, fig. 6.1.
- Collection Area(s)
- Southeast Asian Art
- Rights Statement
Copyright with museum