Ardhanarishvara Statue - Antique Phnom Da Style Khmer Sandstone Standing Shiva Parvati Statue - 88cm/35"
Measures - (Height) 88cm/35"
An antique pre-Angkor seventh century Phnom Da style stone standing Ardhanarishvara statue.
This unusual sculpture represents Ardhanarishvara, the Hindu deity who is half Shiva and half Parvati, making the image half male and half female.
The sculpture is stood samabhanga. The head has a roughly cylindrical jata (chignon), in pre-Angkor Phnom Da style. The Shiva side displays a narrow moustache in low relief that is balanced by a beauty line beyond the edge of the mouth, in low relief, on the Parvati side. The Parvati side a highly decorated earring whilst both sides present scalloped inner ears rims.
Three rows of curls cover his head, increasing in size down either side of his face. Lush lips, almond shaped eyes and an aquiline nose define his face. Distended earlobes may once have been adorned with real earrings.
It is interesting that the Shiva side does not display the customary half of the third eye (as per The Walters Art Gallery Ardhanarishvara - 25.244).
The Deity is clothed in a 'sampot kan spin' and scarf indicated by indented lines. The patterns created by the folded extremities of the scarf or scarves appear to anticipate the more complex patterns that were to become apparent later. One end of the sampot is passed through the legs and fastened in back with the extremity forming a small fan shape above the waistline.
The Vishnu torso has a slender waist, broad muscular hips, legs and shoulders, as is typical with seventh century Khmer Vishnu images.
The sculpture embodies authority with its iconic downcast gaze and large unexpressive face. The general silhouette is heavier. The carving is beautiful as you can see in the fine details of the face. Each detail is rendered perfectly. The features suggest the prana, or inner breath, that signifies superhuman power. The figure is clad in traditional Khmer Dhoti.
The sculpture is a free standing form, in the round. It is clear that the artist anticipated this sculpture being enjoyed from all sides.
Ardhanarishvara is loose mounted on a wood base (later).
To aid with save transport the sculpture will be wood crated for shipping.
Provenance: Ex- private US Collection.
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Vishnu is one of the most prominent deities in Hinduism, known as the preserver and protector of the universe. His worship is central to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism. In this blog post we explore a little about the history, mythology, and symbolism of Vishnu.