Asian Art and History
The Hindu God Krishna in Early Cambodia
Sonya Rhie Mace, Ph.D., George P. Bickford Curator of Indian and Southeast Asian Art, Cleveland Museum of Art
During the centuries when Hinduism began to be practiced in Southeast Asia, between the 500s to 700s CE, local artists created monumental sandstone sculptures of Krishna, several of which survive to this day. One example from a cave temple on a sacred mountain in the Mekong River delta is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The curator of the recent exhibition Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain will discuss how she understands the role of Krishna in early Cambodian religious and visual culture. She will explain how the Cambodian vision of Krishna relates with counterparts in India and how regional artists and patrons envisioned Krishna in a new way, as part of the local ecological landscape.
This presentation is part of the Asian Art and History series.
Image: Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhan (detail), c. 600. Southern Cambodia, Takeo Province, Phnom Da. Sandstone with remains of lacquer and gilding; 188 (without 43 cm tenon) x 68 x 42 cm. National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Ka.1641. Photo: Konstanty Kulik.