Buddha Sheltered by Naga

Historical period(s)
Angkor period, 12th century
H x W x D: 60.8 x 44.9 x 25.4 cm (23 15/16 x 17 11/16 x 10 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Bunker
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Smithsonian Castle, Commons Room
Sculpture, Stone

Buddhist sculpture

Angkor period (802 - 1431), Buddha, Buddhism, Cambodia, naga, ushnisha, WWII-era provenance

Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck, New York [1]

To 1995
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Bunker, Wheatland, WY, to 1995

From 1995
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, given by Mr. and Mrs. John B. Bunker in 1995


[1] According to Provenance Remark 1 in the object record.

Previous Owner(s)

Mr. and Mrs. John B. and Emma Bunker
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck


Nagas are potent, auspicious symbols throughout South and Southeast Asia. The image of the Buddha seated on a coiled serpent gained traction in Cambodia, where nagas represent the bridge between the earthy and transcendent realms. Here, the Buddha aligns his spine with the serpent's upright body, his head sheltered beneath the multiheaded cobra hood.

Published References
  • Ad Reinhardt. Khmer Sculpture. Exh. cat. New York. p. 38.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
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