Kneeling male deity

Historical period(s)
9th century
H x W x D: 14 × 7.6 × 11.4 cm (5 1/2 × 3 × 4 1/2 in)
Indonesia, Java
Credit Line
Promised gift of Ann and Gilbert Kinney to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Long-term loan
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture


Buddhism, Hinduism, Indonesia, Java
Provenance research underway.

In an active posture, the figure is lightly poised on one knee with the second foot planted on a lotus base, his hips slightly elevated as if ready to stand. His spine is upright and hands at either side holding two fragmentary objects. Tiny in scale, his perfected form is wonderfully complete.

Although a deity in this posture appears frequently in Southeast Asian art, his identity remains a mystery. Here, the figure may have formed the finial for a ritual bell, a hanging lamp, or a staff. Comparison with ritual objects and with relief carvings on the walls of Borobudur confirm the use of such items in Central Java before the ninth century. He may hold the ends of reigns in his hands, suggesting he represents a divine charioteer.

Collection Area(s)
Southeast Asian Art
Web Resources
F|S Southeast Asia
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