Saturday, October 18, 2008
The Khmer sculpture housed in the Guimet Museum in Paris is the best collection of Khmer art outside of Cambodia. Much of it was taken to France by early explorers who pillaged the temples of Cambodia and shipped the best pieces back to their own country. Now, for the first time, a new book has just been released, in French (obviously) that presents a wide selection of these masterpieces in chronological order, 180 in total. They are the subject of a detailed entry and several illustrations showing the face profile, back and any detail. In the last part of the book, 122 secondary works are presented as thumbnails with captions. The book is the brainchild of Pierre Baptiste, curator of patrimony, in charge of the South-East Asia section and by Tierry Zéphir, research engineer at the Guimet Museum. The title is L'Art Khmer [Khmer Art in the Guimet Museum's Collections] and is 480 pages in length with 650 colour illustrations. See my visit to the Guimet Museum here.