I would argue

Shiva 1010-50 CE

bronze, silver and black glass glass inlay, mercury amalgam gilding

The elegant, slightly elongated appearance of this sculpture, as well as the pleated skirt cloth (sampot), is characteristic of the Baphuon style of Cambodian sculpture. The style is named after a major eleventh-century monument, the Baphuon temple. Located in the Angkor Thom complex near present-day Siem Reap, the Baphuon was created as a model of mythical Mount Meru, the centre of the Hindu cosmos. Both Buddhist and Hindu sculptures were created in this style, and Baphuon bronze casting demonstrates particularly skilled craftsmanship.

Shiva and Vishnu were very popular deities in Cambodia during the Angkor period. The lack of recognised divine attributes makes it difficult to identify this gilded sculpture with certainty, but the third eye on the forehead suggests it may be an image of Shiva. Originally the figure’s right hand may have held a trident, the principal symbolic attribute of Shiva. The pupils of the deity’s three eyes, the eyebrows and the moustache are inlaid with black glass, while silver is used for the whites of the eyes. The inscription around the base of the sculpture indicates that it was commissioned by Viralakshmi, the queen of the Khmer King Suryavarman I, who reigned during 1002–50 CE.

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