Antique Koh Ker Style Stone Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Statue - 54cm/22"
Measures - (Height) 54cm/22"
An antique Koh Ker style Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara statue, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Bodhisattva are beings who have gained enlightenment but postpone their ascension to nirvana to help others achieve the blessed state.
The Avalokiteshvara has his eyes downcasts as he extends grace to devotees with an elaborate diadem, in the Koh Ker style, with the Amitabha Buddha prominently displayed above his third eye.
As is typical with this style sculpture has a soft face and is adorned with scalloped elongated earrings. His jatamukuta (crown of hair) leads to a tall ushnisha, in the Koh Ker style, symbolizing his high level of spiritual development.
The face has eyebrows described by a continuous ridged line, a moustache, a beard, rimmed lips and wide open eyes. The inner rims of the ears are scalloped. The lobes hang low. His tiara or mukuta is also richly decorated. A tradition that continued to develop in Cambodia from the 9th century to the post-Angkor period.
The head is covered in tightly braided woven hair, enhanced by a cylindrical-shaped 'Chignon' style topknot, secured by a braided ribbon, in Koh Ker style. The top of the head shows a lotus flower. The lotus flower represents purity, compassion and the giving of great joy to all.
The sculpture is loose mounted on a wood base.
Stylistically, this masterpiece relates to the school of sculpture associated with the pre-Angkorian Koh Ker period.
The statue is carved in the round, rather than as a relief on a stela. From this, we can infer that Khmer sculptors would have desired their artwork to be viewed from all sides and thus placed in the centre of temples rather than against a wall. While religious - priests supervised their execution - their realism is unmistakable.
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