We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting

Title

Guardian Lion

circa 1000 CE

Artists

Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Cambodia
    Cultural origin
    Koh Ker style
    Date
    circa 1000 CE
    Media category
    Sculpture
    Materials used
    sandstone
    Dimensions
    94.0 x 44.2 x 56.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Purchased with funds provided by Mr F. Storch, R.M and D.M. Adair, T.R.W. Allen, Karl Berkeley, Bruce Bockman, Madeleine Baulken, J.S. Capon, Graham M. Cole, S.M. Gazal, Bruce C. Hudson, Daryl Isles, J.G. Jagelman, N. Jeffreson, Michael Magnus, D.A.M. McCathie, Rosalind O'Connor, L.H. Pockley, E.G. Sternberg, Robert M. White and Ken Yondale 1987
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    443.1987
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Share
  • About

    Throughout the golden age of the Angkor period, the kings built huge cities and temple complexes symbolic of their power and divinity. One of these capitals was created in 921 by King Jayavarman IV at Koh Ker, about 65km from Angkor. This standing guardian lion has come from there. Such lions were placed on terraces and stairways to guard the central pyramidal structure that represented Mount Meru, the residence of the gods at the centre of the Hindu world. Lions were not native to Cambodia and the Khmer sculptors devised their own fanciful interpretations. The characteristic full-frontal pose and upright stance lend the figure a composed regal air, while the elaborately carved demonic head and patterned chest show the Javanese influence so important in Khmer culture.

    The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.314.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Cambodia

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications