Sandstone head of Hari-Hara, Vat Phu Style, sandstone, late 7th century, Cambodia
Height: 46.5 cm
Hari-hara is a syncretic deity uniting Siva (Hara) and Visnu (Hari) in a single form. The cult of Hari-hara appears to have been popular among the rulers of pre-Angkorian Cambodia. Inscriptions and images from the 7th and 8th centuries reveal major temples dedicated to Siva, Visnu and Hari-hara. The prominence of the cult is also confirmed in the name of Hariharalaya, the capital which preceded Angkor.
Bought from Mr. A.Biancardi, (Wolmore Collection). This head of Hari-hara, once part of a monumental standing image, is in the style associated with Vat Phu, situated in modern Laos. Vat Phu was the religious city of Chen-la, the early Khmer kingdom which laid the foundations for the Angkorian empire.