Antique Banteay Srei Style Stone Mounted Khmer Vishnu Head - 35cm / 14"
Measures (Height) 35cm/14"
An antique Khmer style mounted stone Vishnu head in the pre-Angkorian style of Banteay Srei. Vishnu is both world protector and preserver, restorer of moral order - he is all-powerful and all-pervasive by nature.
The Bantreay Srei style developed at the same time as the Pre Rup style and overlaps that of the Kleang. It uses and develops the formulas of the Koh Ker style, the headdress with horizontal tresses and the conical mukuta.
The moustache is also kept, but in a more discreet way. The fullness of the forms give the face a softness which accentuates the eyes opened wide, and the fleshy and sensual lips.
The anatomy shows a strong sense of observation. The overall silhouette is elegant and a reminder of the Pre Angkorian Art. The ornate carving of the diadem provide a delightful contrast with the smooth facial features.
The inner rims of the ears display the characteristic tripart scalloped treatment. The lobes are almost complete and would have been pierced to receive real jewels during rituals and ceremonies. The face is defined by slightly arched eyebrows, full rimmed lips, beard, wide open rimmed eyes and a rather broad, flat nose.
A conical three tier chignon-cover surmounts the head and is surrounded by a diadem tied in the back with a bow knot, typical of the Banteay Srei period. Generally, the statues are small in size, but in scale with the temple, a feeling of elegance and softness is given off by the whole.
The image radiates an aloofness, the quiet power of Vishnu and the sensuality typical of the Banteay Srei period.
The Vishnu has perfect balance and proportions which are the key to a fine Vishnu sculpture. The patina and details of this piece are particularly appealing.
The statue is mounted on a wood base.
Provenance: Ex- private London collection.
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