Lintel with Reclining Vishnu and Retinue
11th century
Asia: Cambodia
On View

This lintel, which was once above a doorway leading into a Khmer Hindu temple, is carved with a scene depicting the creation of the universe. In this type of imagery, called Anantasayin, Vishnu reclines on the cosmic serpent Ananta during the separation of two cosmic time periods. During this interlude of dissolution, Brahma, the creator god, emerges from Vishnu’s navel. An outline of Brahma and his iconic four heads can still be seen on the lintel.


  • Title: Lintel with Reclining Vishnu and Retinue
  • Date: 11th century
  • Medium: Sandstone
  • Dimensions: 18 x 57 x 8-1/2 in. (45.7 x 144.8 x 21.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1975.15.2.S
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 3: Art from Sri Lanka & Southeast Asia, 2004, no. 150 pp. 108, 192, 206
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1274 p. 389
  • Melody Rod-ari, Journal of the History of Collections, 2015, fig. 7 p. 488

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