Antique Koh Ker Style Stone Mounted Khmer Vishnu Head - 43cm / 17"
Measures (Height) 43cm/17"
The power emanating from this compelling Vishnu image characterises 10th century, Koh Ker style.
Vishnu is both world protector and preserver, restorer of moral order - he is all-powerful and all-pervasive by nature.
The Koh Ker period is a relatively obscure but fascinating epoch in Khmer history. Nestled in the dense forests of northern Cambodia, Koh Ker served as the capital of the Khmer Empire for a brief period during the 10th century.
This era is marked by a remarkable architectural legacy and a glimpse into the political, cultural, and religious dynamics of the time. While overshadowed by the grandeur of Angkor, the Koh Ker period has a story of its own that deserves recognition.
As is typical with this style the Vishnu has a soft face and high Chignon, surmounted by a lotus flower. His tiara or jatamukuta (crown of hair) is also richly decorated. A tradition that continued to develop in Cambodia from the 10th century to the post-Angkor period.
The features of Vishnu demonstrate a prominent nose, jutting lower lip and firm chin. This is typical of the Koh Ker style. Probably an idealised portrait of King Jayavarman IV who implied that his rule was divinely sanctioned through association with both Vishnu and Shiva iconography.
His pendulous earlobes are pierced to allow jewelled earrings to be added to the sculpture. These would be worn, by the sculpture, during important religious ceremonies.
Initially, this sculpture may have been of Lokeshvara. The front of the Chignon originally may have shown a meditating Buddha. The removal of this Buddha changes the statue to one of Vishnu. It was not unusual for the subject of a sculpture to be modified as the religious and political climate changed.
The Vishnu is loose mounted on a wood base (later).
To aid with safe shipping your Vishnu will be wood crated before shipping. There is no additional cost for this packing, crating and shipping service.
Provenance: Ex- private London collection.
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Ganapati Murtis are not merely sculptures; they are embodiments of divine wisdom, compassion, and the unwavering spirit to overcome obstacles.
The symbolism, significance in worship, and spiritual essence of Ganapati Murtis make them a cherished and revered presence in the lives of millions.