Buddha Sheltered by a Naga
This sculpture is of the serpent king Muchilinda protecting Buddha, popular in the 12th century Khmer Kingdom. Images like this were sponsored by King Jayavarman VII, who was the first Buddhist king after a long line of Hindu rulers. He identified himself as a Buddharaja (Buddha-King) rather than as a Devaraja (God-King) Small bronze statues would have been seen by Chinese merchants in Southeast Asia and may have been brought with them on their travels. Buddhism still remains important in Cambodia today.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 1987