Monday, March 22, 2010

A view from the west

The face of a dvarapala male guardian at the western gopura
This is my final posting on the Baphuon, pending my next visit. These pictures are taken from the western gopura, which has been reconstructed and is visitable even if the main pyramid is out of bounds. It has decorative panels, a couple of legible lintels and dvarapala male guardians in niches, either side of the doorway.
The western side of the western gopura, leading onto the Baphuon
A male guardian, dvarapala, in reasonable condition, apart from his face
Close up detail of the dvarapala's clothing, hands and club
Another male dvarapala, designed to ward off bad spirits from entering through the gopura
This dvarapala has fared far less better than the others and is in poor condition
A rishi or wise man at the foot of the doorway colonette, in meditating posture
A decorative lintel still in situ, with kala and floral designs
This lintel with kala figure eating a garland has a broken figure of Vishvakarma seated above



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of those guardian figures are original parts? I would guess that the parts in better condition are reproductions.

March 23, 2010 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Good question. I'm not an expert by any means but I believe all the parts on the western gopura are original. Some parts of the stonework are cleaner than others as you can see from the photos (they may've been cleaned or just are better preserved than other stones), but if new replacement stones are used, then they are usually restricted to the structural elements and building blocks (many of which you cannot see) rather than the carvings.
You will find new stone used in carvings in Thailand (as they prefer to try and show the temple as a whole and will include new stonework to achieve this) but generally speaking in Cambodia, they only use the original stonework with the decorative elements.
One diversion from this is one of the reclining Buddha rock carvings at Kbal Spean, which Artisans d'Angkor replaced after the original was stolen.
If you know differently, please enlighten me.

March 23, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

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