Antique Baphuon Style Stone Seated Khmer Vishnu Statue - 48cm / 19"
Measures (Height) 48cm/19"
An antique Khmer style seated stone Vishnu statue in the pre-Angkorian Baphuon style. Vishnu is both world protector and preserver, restorer of moral order - he is all-powerful and all-pervasive by nature.
This impressive stone sculpture shows a male deity (probably Vishnu) kneeling. He is clothed in a pleated sampot can kpin, in the Baphuon style, with a bow behind that has been naturalistically represented to accommodate the kneeling pose. The artist's ingenuity is particularly noticeable in the way the left foot is shown sideways at the back.
His braided hair is dressed in a quatrefoil-shaped jatamukuta held in place by a jeweled band. In the Baphuon style 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, polished stone, facial features. The inner rims of the ears appear to display the characteristic tripart scalloped treatment. The lobes are worn but may once 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. 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.
Provenance: Ex- private US collection.
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A deity of contradictions, Shiva the Destroyer has a tumultuous history which is reflective of his many responsibilities and characterisations. His importance over the universe, but also his personality, make him a popular choice in Hindu art.