Standing Female Deity, probably Durga

Period: pre-Angkor period

Date: ca. last quarter of the 7th century–early 8th century

Culture: Cambodia

Medium: Stone

Dimensions: H. 52 3/4 in. (134 cm); W. 18 in. (45.7 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund and Anonymous Gift, in honor of Martin Lerner, 2000

Accession Number: 2000.531

Description

The deity wears a cylindrical miter and a long sarong clinging tightly to her waist and hips. The garment is secured at the waist, and a section of the cloth hanging down in front doubles over itself and is then brought up and tucked in at the waist. This forms a loop drapery motif divided into two outer sections and an inner one, an arrangement that serves as one of the hallmarks of the Prasat Andet style. The balance of the folds, arranged symmetrically on either side of a hanging central pleat, are incised and pulled up toward the waist. The hanging, pleated panel, which descends from beneath the tripartite looped sections, flares out at the bottom into an attractive decorative motif. The lower hem of the gently flaring sarong is depicted in three sections. As is typical of the period, there are no indications of drapery at the back.

The sculpture is missing her arms and the attributes held in her hands, as well as the original pedestal, and it is not possible to identify her with certainty. However, since she is four-armed and wears a high miter, she could be an image of Durga, the Hindu goddess who slays a buffalo demon. Durga was popular during the Pre-Angkor period, and this elegant image was most likely displayed in a temple, possibly with other deities intended to serve as the focus of worship and veneration.

Related