Monday, December 13, 2010

Lintels Of Pre-Angkor Period

Lintels of the decorative style of Sombor Prei Kuk are displayed in Hall A of the sounthern portico. No lintels illustrating the style of Phnom Dā have been found.
 The lintels on display have been classified into two types.
The various parts of the lintel are described by number below:

Lintel Sections

1.     Foliage branch
2.     Central medallion
3.     Quartile or secondary medallions
4.     Foliage branch extremities
5.     Pseud-tympanum
6.     Part above foliage branch
7.     Upper frieze
8.     Band
9.     Brackets
The decorative motifs of these nine parts vary according to the style of the lintel.
Two Types of Lintel
In general it is possible to distinguish two types of lintel, the plant decor lintel (first type) and lintel depicting a scene (second type).
The entire surface of the second type of lintel is usually covered with images.
The lintels are displayed in pairs, as in the other halls of the porticos.
Hall A
174. k> 1743  Lintel
VIIth Century
Temple de Bora, Thalabarvat, Stung Treng
L: 250 cm
C: 141 C: 30.26
This lintel is of the first type. The central motif is a standing Garuda carrying a nāga in both hands. The two edges of the foliage branch end in two converging makara (mythical animal with the power to make ships sink) swallowing or spitting out arches. Each blind are is decorated with two rows of peal motifs and a rosette. There are garlands and pendants on the pseudo-tympanum. Each makara has a raised trunk, two tusks, large eyes, short body, long tail like a crocodile and four paws. Its neck is adorned with a string of bell. Its teeth resemble those of a buffalo. The Garuda wears a can kpin sampot with a drape in the front.
175. k> 1748  Lintel
VIIth Century
Sambor Prei Kuk, Kompong Thom
L: 283.8 cm
C: 131 C: 30.24
The foliage branches of this lintel are composed of four blind arches. The central motif central is a standing Garuda holding a pendant in his left hand. The decorative motifs of the secondary medallions are also standing Garuda. The edge of the foliage branch shows fighting between Garuda and Nāgarāja[1].
The pseudo-tympanum depicts a group of musicians and a dancing Śiva (below the central medallion). He is recognizable due to his third eye serpent collar. The brackets are adorned with heads of beasts.

Note that the divergent makara of the lintel in this style are a rare depiction.

176. k> 1516  Small Column
VIIth Century
Wat Choeng Kandal
Phnom Penh, Kandal
H: 159.6 cm
C: 3  C: 31.3
Small colomns are used to support lintels. Most of the columns of the Sambor Prei Kuk and Prei Khmeng styles are round.
Each column is divided into three sections: the capital, shaft and base. The capital is adorned with a bulb, typical motif of the Sambor Prei Kuk style. The base is decorated with garlands and pendants. The shaft is smooth and decorated with a median or central decoration and a ring of ribbing at the upper and lower quarter points.

Hall B
 177. k> 1761 Buffalo-Shaped Yonī
VIIth - VIIth Century
Phnom Dā, Angkor Borei, Takeo
Diameter: 207 cm
C: 167  C: 21.5
This object highlighs the artist's skill at stylizing a circular piece in the shape of a buffalo. The yaksa (incarnated as a buffalo) was the enemy of Durgā. Durgā kills the enemy and we can then deduce that this piece represents Durgā.
178. k> 2101  Lintel Supported with Columns
VIIth  Century
Origin unknown
L: 128.3 cm 
No former numbers

In the Prei Khmeng style the foliage branch is straight. The ornamentation of the central and quartile medallions and of the edges of the foliage branch are florets. The pseudo-tympanum ha the same ornamentaion as in the Sambor Prei Kuk style. Some lintels in this style are scenario lintels. The brackets are adorned with rosettes.
179. k> 1789 Lintel with Reclining Visnu Scene
Late VIIth Century
Tuol Ang, Kompong Speu
L: 220.2 cm 
C: 173  C: 30.29

This lintel depicts Visnu reclining on a seven-headed nāga on the ocean. When he lies down, a lotus grows from his navel. The Brahma is seated on this lotus. The ocean is represented by wavy relief work. There are various fish in the ocean, in addition to two makara. The first makara is located to the right of Visnu and the other below the nāga's head.

The four-armed Visnu's lower right hand lies against his body.
The upper right hand holds stem. His head cylindrical mukuta rests on the upper left hand. The palm of the lower left hand is opened and holds the head of the nāga. The motifs of the edges of the foliage branch are large florests. The flower decorations on the central medallion or on the lintel quartiles are replaced by figures in certain lintels of this style.

Western Portico

Hall A

180. k> 1793 Lintel
VIIIth Century
Wat Kompong Chhang, Baribor, Kompong Chhang
L: 185 cm 
C: 15  C: 30.1

This lintel is in the Kompong Preah style (706-800). Its foliage branch transforms itself into an arched and segmented line. On either side of this branch, the upper section ends with leaves and the lower section tendrils.
 The ends of the foliage branch are leaves with diverging tendrils.
This lintel does not have medallions at the quarter points.

Khmer Art.  M.  Giteau and D. Guéret. p. 49 

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