A majestic antique stone Shiva in the Preah-Ko style that embodies authority, with its hieratic stance and iconic downcast gaze. As the destroyer, Shiva is regarded as limitless, transcendent and unchanging. Shiva is also regarded as the patron god of yoga, meditation and arts.
The power emanating from this compelling Shiva image characterises Preah Ko style, contemporary with Bakong, the state temple of Indravarman I. The tense volume of the chest and abdomen suggest the inner breathe, or prana, that indicates strength.
The mitre worn by pre-Angkorian Shiva figures has evolved into a multi-tiered pagoda shaped headdress bounded by an elaborate diadem. The finely chased line of the beard and the thin up curving moustache are also characteristic of the Preah-Ko style.
The sampotâ€™s elaborate arrangement, with pleats and anchor shaped front panel, presages a style that would dominate Khmer costume for three more centuries.
A similar piece can be seen in the Cambodia National Museum Catalog #1648.
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