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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 245

The MET : Gallery 245 : Southeast Asian Art

Art From Us Museum Guide #563

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #563 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) NY’s Gallery 245. Showcasing a collection of Southeast Asian Art. 

The three works in focus are :

  1. Buddha, mid 7th century.
  2. Harihara, late 7th – early 8th century.
  3. Brahma, first quarter of the 10th century.

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #563

Welcome to the Art From Us, Museum Guide #563.

The artefacts we have chosen for our Art From Us, Museum guide #563 belong to Cambodia. All three of them were created around the time of the Angkor period.

Cambodia’s Angkor Period

Angkor, located in Northwestern Cambodia used to be the capital of the Khmer Empire from the 9th century to the 15th century.  Some historians consider Cambodia’s Angkor period as the ‘Golden Age’ of the Khmer Empire. The Angkor period is marked by the construction of many glorious monuments, that were dedicated to the rulers of the time, and their gods. Most Angorian rulers were staunch spiritualists. Some of them were even known to build funerary homes (much like the Egyptians) to ensure a point of contact with Divinity, even after death.

Religious symbolism of the Angkor period drew much inspiration from Hinduism and Buddhism, as the people of the region worshipped the holy trinity of hindu gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

While the three objects we have chosen above are all religious idols of worship, drawn from Hindu and Buddhist cultures, they have been represented in a certain distinct way. The depiction of Buddha, Harihar (Shiva) and Brahma that is seen above was unique to the Angkor region.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 245, there are so many Southeast Asian ritualistic and cultural overlaps for you to come and discover.


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