Head of Harihara

Historical period(s)
Angkor period, mid 10th century
H x W x D: 27.6 x 19.3 x 17.2 cm (10 7/8 x 7 5/8 x 6 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler: Level 2 Elevator Lobby
Sculpture, Stone

Hindu sculpture

Angkor period (802 - 1431), Buddhism, Cambodia, Harihara, Vishnu, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

The Hindu god Shiva has a third eye at the center of his forehead. Because only half of the third eye is present here, we know that this deity is Hari-Hara, who is half Shiva and half Vishnu. Hari-Hara was first seen in Indian sculpture, but he became most popular in Cambodia. His three-tier headdress is intricately carved with floral designs. The crown's pyramidal form resembles Cambodian temple towers, which in turn emulate the shape of Mount Meru, believed to be the center of the cosmos.

Published References
  • Emma C. Bunker, Douglas Latchford. Adoration and Glory: The Golden Age of Khmer Art., 1st ed. Chicago. p.181.
Collection Area(s)
Southeast Asian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
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