On View: Lost Kingdoms Emerge from Antiquity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Evocative Hindu-Buddhist sculptures of first millennium Southeast Asia are making their debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — and they are not to missed. Created by cultures which have only re-emerged through 20th century archeological research, Lost Kingdoms represents the first international loan exhibition of these priceless masterworks.

A 6th-century statue of Buddha Preaching, likely from Sri Lanka, was lent for the exhibit by National Museum, Bangkok (Photo: Thierry Ollivier)

A 6th-century statue of Buddha Preaching, likely from Sri Lanka, was lent for the exhibit by National Museum, Bangkok (Photo: Thierry Ollivier)

More than 160 sculptures of early religious art are showcased through seven distinctive sections, including Nature Cults, Vishnu and his Avatars, Arrival of Buddhism and Savior Cults. The majority of the massive sculptures are carved in stone and complimented by exquisite examples of bronze, gold, silver and terracotta. Many works are considered national treasures and are on loan from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and more.

“Exhibitions that provide this level of exposure to previously unfamiliar material of such significance come along very rarely. The majority of the important and breathtakingly beautiful works in Lost Kingdoms have never traveled outside their source countries,” said Thomas P. Campell, director and CEO of the Met.

Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through July 27, 2014.