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Jonathan Tucker and Antonia Tozer

SANDSTONE FIGURE OF VISHNU
KHMER, PRE-ANGKOR PERIOD,7TH - 8TH CENTURY
H. (EXCLUDING TANG): 67 CMS, 26 ½ INS.
H. (INCLUDING TANG): 84 CMS, 33 INS.

An important sandstone figure of a four-armed Vishnu, dynamic and powerful, standing on a rectangular pedestal and wearing a cylindrical mitre headdress; the face meditative and smiling serenely; the contours of his lower body visible beneath a diaphanous ankle-length sampot, its folds delineated by faintly incised lines, with a long central sash hanging down between his legs.

Note: The ankles are repaired.

Vishnu, together with Brahma and Siva, is one of the members of the Hindu trimurti (Skt. “Triple Form”). Vishnu becomes incarnate in different divine forms (avatars) from age to age in order to preserve the world.

For a related image, attributed to the Mekong Delta, see plate 10 in Emma Bunker and Douglas Latchford, Adoration and Glory: The Golden Age of Khmer Art, Chicago: Art Media Resources, 2004.

PROVENANCE: Property of a private Japanese collector.

all text, images Jonathan Tucker and Antonia Tozer

 

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