Finial with Vishnu riding on Garuda

This bronze finial depicts a makara (sea monster) issuing forth the naga (serpent) whose head and tail are grasped by the mythical Garuda (divine bird with a human body, and the wings, legs and beak of a bird). He supports on his shoulders the four-armed figure of Vishnu. Vishnu, one of the three main Hindu gods, was reincarnated to save the world. The dynamic image of Vishnu on Garuda advancing into battle, also known as Garudasanamurti, became popular during reign of Khmer King, Suryavarman II (r.1113–c.1145). He built the temple of Angkor Wat which was dedicated to Vishnu. It is thought that small images such as these were made for use on domestic altars.

Date/Period
Bayon period, 12th-13th centuries
Region
Cambodia
Dimension
Object size: H26.5 cm (With Stand)
Accession No.
1997-03353
Material
Bronze
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Category
Bronze