Thursday, March 12, 2009
Bakong in the Roluos Group near Siem Reap, are considered by many who know their stuff, as amongst the very finest lintels in Khmer art. Later today I'll post some photos of most of the lintels in situ so you can judge for yourself. They date from the late 9th century, the reign of King Indravarman I and whilst they are rich with figures, their central motif is usually a kala with vegetal garlands and makaras or nagas appearing at the ends. I visited Bakong a few weeks ago and whilst I agree they are very beautiful lintels, their narratives are bested by other lintels I've seen on my travels, though perhaps not in such high numbers as can be found at Bakong. More to come.
Finer detail from the lintel above. The central figure is Vishvakarma sitting astride kala who is spewing garlands, upon which 4 figures are riding elephants. There are sea makaras at each end, lots of floral scrolling and a line of acolytes at the very top of the lintel.