Detail View: The AMICA Library: Male Figure

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Creator Nationality: 
Asian; Southeast Asian; Cambodian
Creator Name-CRT: 
Male Figure
Full View
Creation Date: 
Angkor period, Baphuon style, third quarter 11th century
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Creation Place: 
H. 41 1/2 in. (105.4 cm)
AMICA Contributor: 
Asia Society
Owner Location: 
New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
The study of Cambodian and Thai sculpture dating from the 10th to 14th centuries is primarily the study of the civilization and culture of the Khmer empire. The Khmers inhabited and controlled parts of mainland Southeast Asia from the 6th century onward.Historically, they are best known for the era called the Angkor period (c. 802-1431), named for the Khmer capital. Angkor remains one of the most remarkable cities in world history and is noted for the vast number of breathtaking monuments constructed there from the 10th to 13th centuries. These structures range from relatively small temples to the gigantic temple mountains of Baphuon and Angkor Wat. Most of the temples are profusely decorated, and Khmer sculpture is generally dated by reference to such monuments, with classifications such as 'Baphuon style.'

The detailed depiction of this figure's garments help date the sculpture to the end of the Baphuon period in the third quarter of the 11th century. For example, eight-petaled flowers are incised into the excess folds of his sampot, the short skirtlike garment wrapped around his waist, and the vertical pleats used to depict this garment are more numerous than those found in earlier sculptures. Jeweled pendants filled with cabochons hang fromthe belt, which may represent metal rather than cloth. It has been suggested that elaborate metal belts were a symbol of royalty; this sculpture then may well have commemorated a royal figure. However, this type of belt is sometimes found on sculptures of guardians, which were generally a part of the complicated iconographic programs found in the temple mountains such as Baphuon, and it seems likely that the identity of a figure such as this one was determined as much by its placement as by its clothing and ornaments.

Related Document Description: 
Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 33.
Related Document Description: 
Le Bonheur, Albert. 'Review of Sherman E. Lee, Ancient Cambodian Sculpture.' Artibus Asiae 33 (1971), p. 240.
Related Document Description: 
Lee, Sherman E. Ancient Cambodian Sculpture. New York: Asia Society, 1969, pp. 64, 106.
Related Document Description: 
Sutton, Denys. 'Search for Perfection.' Apollo (November 1983), p. 364.
Related Document Description: 
Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Hong Kong and Singapore: Hong Kong Museum of Art and National Museum Singapore, 1993, pp. 88, 89.
Related Document Description: 
Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Tokyo: Idemitsu Museum of Arts, 1992, pp. 68, 132.
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