Skip to content

Collection

An image of Lion by
Alternate image of Lion by

Cambodia

Title
Lion
Place of origin
Cambodia
Cultural origin
Bayon style
Year
circa 13th century
Media category
Sculpture
Materials used
copper alloy with gilt
Dimensions

13.7 x 4.5 x 7.7 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Bequest of Alex Biancardi 2000
Accession number
42.2000
Location
Upper Asian gallery
Further information

Lions are an important motif in Southeast Asia, arriving in the region with the spread of Hindu and Buddhist ideas. They are identified with heroism and leadership, and therefore are symbols of royal power. Lions were depicted as guardian figures in temples, but were also representative of royal patronage. This small metal lion is highly stylised in a manner typical of central mainland Southeast Asia. The creature crouches in a strong frontal pose. Its body is compact and stocky, and tail curls upwards to touch the back of its head. Wide, pointed snouts dominate its fierce face. In keeping with the lion's association with kingly status, its chests display patterned breast-plates.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, May 2011

Exhibition history (1)

Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–05 Sep 2015