Stone naga Buddha

12th century, Cambodia

Height: 72 cm, 28.3 inches

A handsome figure of the Buddha is shown seated on the coils of the seven-headed serpent, Mucilinda. The serpent’s hood is fanned out behind him, and above the Buddha to protect him.

Images of Vishnu seated on a naga can be traced back to Gupta India, but the naga in Khmer art developed into a kind of throne for the Buddha, losing some of its snakelike qualities. The iconographic formula became extremely popular during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries in Cambodia and Khmer-occupied territories in Thailand.

Similar Examples

“Masterpieces of the National Museum of Cambodia” Friends of Khmer Culture Inc, 2006, fig. 49.

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