Hardstone pair of standing Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi

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Hardstone pair of standing Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi- 6996A/B


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Hardstone pair of standing Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi
Period: 11th Century.
Baphuon style, Cambodia.
Dimensions: Ht 106 x W 34 x D 28 cm - Vishnu (6996A)
Dimensions: Ht 110 x W 36 x D 26 cm - Lakshmi (6996B)

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Vishnu is both world protector and preserver, restorer of moral order - he is all-powerful and all-pervasive by nature.
The sculpture embodies authority with its iconic downcast gaze and large unexpressive face. The carving is beautiful as you can see in the fine
details of the face. The deity standing on a square plinth, clad in traditional Khmer Dhoti carved with parallel pleats and secured with a stylized sash,
his face with full lips and, heavy-lidded eyes with incised pupils, his hair finely braided and pulled into a domed topknot secured with a beaded diadem,
the body finely polished. Each detail is rendered perfectly. The features suggest the prana, or inner breath, that signifies superhuman power. The statue retain
the characteristics of the previous Banteay Srei style.The style is a return to frontality and hieratism. The shoulders are larger, the torso swells to a heavy and
conventional shape evoking the aesthetic of the early tenth century; affirming a hieratism without moderation. Yet the sculpture is not submitted to strict iconographic
norms, the statue loses stiffness and becomes more human.

This sculpture represents Lakshmi, consort of the Hindu god Vishnu, standing in a relaxed, triple-bend (tribhanga) pose.
The figure is presented as found, elegantly modelled from a hardstone. As with images from this period, the ornamentation reflects a perfect mastery of sculpting and fluidity.
Facial features of the statue retain characteristics of the previous Banteay Srei style, but appear more delicate.  The face appears typically Khmer, with a serene expression,
incised almond-shaped eyes, connected eyebrows above a well-shaped broad nose, wide plump mouth and elongated earlobes.
Since she is commonly depicted in this manner alongside Vishnu, this sculpture was likely part of an ensemble. As befitting her
exalted position, Lakshmi wears a long stylized sampot worn high on the hips, secured by an elaborate belt and anklets, bracelets, armbands, a multi-layered necklace.
The hair is drawn onto the top of the head to form a bulb shaped-chignon, held in place by a worked gold chain or a garland of flowers. This is characteristic of the style.
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity (both material and spiritual), light, wisdom, fortune, fertility, generosity and courage.
The embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. Also called Mahalakshmi, she is said to bring good luck, and is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows.
The patina and details of this piece are particularly appealing.


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