Style/Origin : Cham art, Misoen A1, ca. latter half of the 10th century
Material : Sandstone
Size : Height 75.5 cm. , width 41.5 cm.
Provenance : Received by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) from Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City) National Museum, Vietnam, during a visit to Indo-China in 1930.
Cham art is the art of the Cham people. The Chamba Kingdom was located in the centre of present day Vietnam and existed circa 3-15th century. The Dai Viet assumed control of the area in 1471 and its name was subsequently changed to Vietnam. Today, Cham people reside in the South of Vietnam.
Early Cham art was influenced by Indian art. Later Cham art was also influenced by Java art, Khmer art and Chinese art. Hinduism was the driving force behind the production of much of Cham art. Mahayana Buddhism only enjoyed a brief period of popularity circa mid 10th century during the Dong Duong period. Cham art spread to Thailand during the Srivijaya period. This is evidenced by the ancient remains at Wat Kaew, Chaiya district, Surat Thani province.
This lion sculpture is standing on its two hind legs with the front legs raised at shoulder height. The mane is decorated with small leaves. The lion has protruding eyes and a large nose. The lion’s mouth is wide open, displaying his sharp, triangular shaped teeth. This sculpture was produced during the golden age of Cham sculpture. The specific style of this lion sculpture suggests it was influenced by Indian art which in turn had been modified by Java art.