Angkor Vat

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Scope note
Refers to the style named for the raised temple-mountain complex built by King Suryavarman II (1113-1150 CE) in the 12th century as a colossal funerary temple for himself. It is identified as the last Hindu-influenced style in Angkor before the ascendancy of Mahayana Buddhism. The temple embodies the hallmark style of artistic production in the Middle Angkor period (1080-1181 CE). The temple complex is constructed in laterite and sandstone, featuring vaulted ceilings, wooden rafters, and the use of blocks rather than pegs for joining joists and columns. The style introduced the cruciform forecourt supported by covered galleries with pillars and interlinked galleries and pavilions illuminated by natural light enabled through an innovative vaulting system. Sculptural works of this style predominantly feature narrative bas-reliefs rather than sculpture in the round. Relief panels depict scenes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana as well as tableaus of Suryavarman II conducting royal affairs. Figures of deities and other eminent personages in friezes are distinguished by bright colors and gold leaf touches. Numerous statues of apsara figures are portrayed wearing pleated, waist-high garments with decorated flower patterns adorn the temple. Eight other temple complexes in the royal capital follow this style.
Angkor Vat
Accepted term: 15-Jul-2024