Historical period(s)
Angkor period, 11th century
H x W x D: 56.2 x 161.3 x 21.9 cm (22 1/8 x 63 1/2 x 8 5/8 in)
Northeast Thailand or Cambodia
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 22a: The Art of Knowing in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas
Sculpture, Stone


Angkor period (802 - 1431), architecture, Cambodia, lotus, Thailand

William H. Wolff, Inc., New York, NY method of acquisition unknown [1]

By 1982-1987
Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), purchased from William H. Wolff, Inc. [2]

From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Arthur M. Sackler [3]

[1] See Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Gift Inventory, number S-2097, William H. Wolff, Inc. stock number “WW 02/1338M” is listed as a dealer number, copy in object folder.

[2] See note 1, Peter Marks evaluated the object in 1982.

[3] Pursuant to the agreement between Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.

Research Completed October 20, 2022

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

William H. Wolff, Inc. 1906-1991
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987


At the center of the sandstone lintel, two wrestling figures intertwine around a lotus stalk. Scrolling vegetation unfurls to either side. The lintel is an architectural element that would have been placed over a doorway in a Khmer temple, either in present-day northeastern Thailand or Cambodia.

The warriors' posture, with one foot pressed against the other's thigh, suggests they represent Bhima and Duryodhana, embattled heroes from the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Although the deity seated on top of the lotus appears often in reliefs from the Khmer kingdom, especially in the eleventh century, his identity remains a mystery. His position kneeling on one knee closely compares with images of charioteers depicted in Khmer relief carvings.

Published References
  • Emma C. Bunker, Douglas Latchford. Adoration and Glory: The Golden Age of Khmer Art., 1st ed. Chicago. p. 235.
Collection Area(s)
Southeast Asian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
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