Angkor Vat period, 12th Century
Hard grey sandstone
H53,5 cm (without pedestal)
Tested by Ciram, dd 03/04/2013, n° 0313-OA-71R-1
Art Loss Register ref: 9540.WK
Provenance: Private Museum Geneva, Switzerland (inventory no AMA-4958/2 on the back of the figure); written document which states the provenance is available
This standing female deity is a classic example of Angkor Vat-style sculpture, produced during the 12th century. The goddess has an aristocratic face with a slight smile, full sensuous lips, open incised eyes and ridged brows. She wears a long pleated sampot with finely delineated folds, folded over at the waist and the lower edge of the central pleat opens into a rimmed fish-tail at the front, typical of the Angkor Vat style. The sampot is secured by a ornamented belt with pendants, hidden beneath the drapery fold in front, but clearly visible on the back.
She is fully adorned with armlets, a multi-strand necklace which follows the form of the breasts and bud shaped earrings. The finely carved diadem is tied at the back and surmounted by conical chignon cover.
Hinduism was the state religion at that time and Vishnu was the partron deity of Suryavarman II. This torso might have belonged to Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu. It could either be a portrait of a lady of that time.
The goddess has a royal presence with a sense of grandeur. The intention was to overwhelm the viewer by her omnipresence.
Adoration and Glory, The golden age of Khmar art, E.Bunker & Latchford, n° 84.