Khmer Sandstone Head and Torso of Shiva
Sambor Style, Ca. 650 A.D.
Dimensions: Height w/o base 51 cm
Condition: Very good. Originally this sculpture had arms and legs, and the tip of the nose is missing, but they were broken off in ancient times. There is evidence of prolonged burial and deposits throughout the surface.
This is a beautiful depiction of Shiva before enlightenment, in the act of meditation at the inspiration of Nandi the bull, which ultimately resulted in his enlightenment and the opening of his third eye. The eyes are downcast under the arched eyebrows, and the long hair is pulled up into a coif with loops cascading along the neck and upper back. The pendulous ears and the three rings around the neck are attributes of his divinity. Nandi, the divine bull, is represented on the sash over the right shoulder. The navel and the nipple are depicted celestially, as a representation of the direction of Shiva’s meditations. A garment is tied around the waist with a simple loos bow at the front, while pleats hang from the right hip,
Indicated with incised lines.
This sculpture has excellent provenance, formerly in the private collection of a French antique dealer, and was originally purchased in the early 1970’s.