Bakheng

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Scope note
Refers to the style named for the temple-mountain built by King Yashovarman I (889-900 CE) at the center of the capital city for the veneration of the god Shiva. The architectural style of the temple marks the first establishment of the stepped pyramid form and served as the model for later temple-mountain complexes. The temple complex features a five-tiered construction cut directly from rock, tower-sanctuaries in quincunx formation, axially-oriented staircases at specific angles leading to shrines, secondary brick shrines, terraces, four images of the sacred bull Nandi guarding the base of the pyramid, and staircases flanked by seated lion monuments. Sculpture of this style exhibits a movement away from the more fleshy, polished styles toward more angular, bony, almost inhuman bodily depictions of deities in frontal stances. Sculptural figures are characterized by their broadness in scale, square jaws, abstract placid facial expressions, linearity in facial details, and lack of graceful movements.
Bakheng
Accepted term: 22-Jul-2024