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7th century-8th century


Unknown Artist

  • Details

    Other Title
    Shiva lingam stone
    Place where the work was made
    Cultural origin
    Pre-Angkorian period circa 500 - 799 → Cambodia
    7th century-8th century
    Media category
    Materials used
    67.0 x 18.4 x 18.4 cm; 55.73 kg.
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1996
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    The 'linga', the most sacred form of the powerful god Shiva, is composed of three parts: the square lower section, usually embedded in the earth, is associated with Brahma, the Creator; the octagonal mid-section, embedded within a seat or plinth known as the 'yoni', is associated with Vishnu, the Preserver; and the domed, cylindrical upper section is associated with Shiva, the Destroyer. This tripartite form symbolises the principle of transmigration ('samsara'): that all living beings are thought to exist within an eternal cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution, which continues throughout eternity.

    This piece attests to the importance of Shaivism in Southeast Asia, where Shiva was the tutelary deity ('ishtadevata') of Jayavarman II, who in 802 CE established the Khmer empire. The 'linga' became the sacred icon of Jayavarman II's kingdom and through the cult of 'linga' worship consolidated the notion of the king as a 'devaraja' ('god-king').

    The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.311.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

    • Jackie Menzies, Arts of Asia, 'New Dimensions', pg. 54-63, Hong Kong, Nov 2003-Dec 2003, 58 (colour illus.). no.9

    • Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 311 (colour illus.).

    • Pratapaditya Pal, Orientations, 'Sensuous Spirituality: Hindu and Buddhist Art from the Indic Cultural Realm', pg. 80-87, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 80 (illus.; colour illus.). fig.1and 1a (detail)