Standing four-armed Vishnu, Pre-Angkor period, ca. second half of 7th century
Vietnam (Mekong Delta area)
This outstanding Vishnu is carved in a style associated with the period prior to the establishment of the Khmer capital at Angkor in the early ninth century. It preserves a flavor of Indian sculpture, particularly in the full, round forms of the face. The deity is easily identified as the Hindu god Vishnu, the preserver of the cosmos who assumes many forms, or avatars. He wears the orthodox high miter and holds a conch in his raised left hand and a war discus in his right. His lowered left hand rests on the remains of a battle mace and would have been paired with a right hand holding an orb, symbolizing the earth.