G661 SANDSTONE VISHNU TORSO


Southeast Asia

G661 SANDSTONE VISHNU TORSO

KHMER

PRE-ANGKOR PERIOD

SAMBOR PREI KUK STYLE

7TH CENTURY

H. 32 CMS, 12 ½ INS

A reddish-brown sandstone torso of a four-armed Vishnu, the lower right hand holding a ball and the lower left the remains of a club, wearing an ankle-length sampot secured at the front and with a long central pleat which also acts as a support strut.

Pre-Angkor Vishnus of this period are typically four-armed and hold a chakra (a disc-like weapon), a conch shell, a mace and a ball. These attributes represent the basic elements of the cosmos: earth, wind, water and fire.

Sambor Prei Kuk is located in Kampong Thom Province, 176 km east of Angkor Wat. It dates back to the Pre-Angkorian Chenla Kingdom (late 6th to 9th century) and was established by King Isanavarman I as a central royal sanctuary and capital, known then as Isanapura.

For two closely related Sambor Prei Kuk Vishnus in the Phnom Penh Museum, see cat. no. 56 in Khun Samen, The New Guide to the National Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodian Ministry of Culture, 2nd edition, 2006 and the following link:

http://angkornationalmuseum.com/highlight_artifact/17

Provenance: Private German collection.