Rare figure of Vishnu

Statue de Vishnu (1)Statue de Vishnu (2) Statue de Vishnu (3)Statue de Vishnu (4)

Rare figure of Vishnu 

Cambodia, Khmer, Baphuon style, XIth century

Polished sandstone

H : 60cm

Provenance : Private french collection formed in the 50s / 60s


This highly important polished sculpture is very well preserved apart from the missing feet and arms.
As Hinduism was the state religion during the Baphuon period the presented four-armed deity most likely represents a youthful Vishnu. The artist sculpted the figure in the Samabhanga posture. The worked sampot and crown contrast finely against the smooth body parts. His hair are styled in a bun and he is wearing the mukuta crown.

Vishnu is represented with a peaceful and calm face,  subtly smiling  and with almond-shaped eyes. His full lips are framed by a incised moustache.
Based on the developments of the previous half-century artists of the Baphuon period introduced a number of new stylistic elements and refinements. For instance, the sampot draped around the hips of male deities dips in almost V-shape below the navel with graceful folds below the belt. It passes through the legs to form a curving bow at his back. The double anchor-shaped cloth section falling to the front between the legs, known from previous periods, disappears, though returns again with the artists of the succeeding Angkor Vat period.

The Baphuon period is arguably the highpoint in depiction of both male and female form in all Khmer art. This superb figure of Vishnu is indeed elegant and naturalistic in appeal; in fact presenting the deity in an idealized human form benefiting his name as Preserver of the Universe.





Asia contact us