Essay Title: 

Cambodian Buddist Art (art and religion)

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in art

Mahayana Buddhist Art in Cambodia

The Khmer empire of Cambodia , extending from its capital , Angkor to present-day Thailand , Laos , and Vietnam , is credited with the creation of extraordinary art and architecture in the sixth to the sixteenth centuries CE . Some of the world ‘s most glorious traditions of sculpture and architecture are still represented at Angkor and throughout Cambodia to reflect the strong influence of the culture and the religions of India in the bygone days . The Khmer artists demonstrated their technical mastery of stone carving and bronze casting in sculpture , to [banner_entry_middle]

br create deeply spiritual images of Hindu and Buddhist divinities (Ricklefs . A lot of these works of sculpture were actually made for temples , and range from monumental cult statues to small offerings in bronze , plus narrative reliefs that depict scenes from popular Indian epics such as Ramayana (National Gallery of Art , Washington D .C . Mahayana Buddhism had rooted itself in Cambodia by the fifth century CE . The Khmer kings , ruling Cambodia with Angkor as their capital , considered themselves divine rulers . With the coming of Mahayana Buddhism , the rulers started to identify themselves with particular buddhas or bodhisattvas . The most notable among the Khmer kings was Jayavarman VII (1181-1218 , under whom the territory and influence of the Khmer empire reached its zenith (National Gallery of Art , Washington D .C . King Jayavarman VII is credited with the building of many Buddhist temples . Identifying himself with the bodhisattva of compassion , Avalokitesvara the king left for us an


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understanding of his times only through inscriptions and what the Buddhist temples can explain about this period in the history of Cambodia (About : Buddhism Chandler

The Bayon Temple is one of the greatest signatures of King Jayavarman VII to help us understand his reign (See photographs in Appendix . This temple , also referred to as the magic mountain ‘ is indicative of the king ‘s devotion to Avalokitesvara . Carved into the north , south , east and west towers of this temple are impressive smiling faces of this bodhisattva . Tourists from around the world are known to visit the temple . One Cambodian travel agency describes the Bayon Temple thus

A temple-mountain , a forest of 200 gigantic faces in the mysterious glances looking

in all the directions , at enigmatic smiles , at beings of another world , in their smiling

serenity . This 3-storeyed temple , 43m in height , stayed for a long time an enigma

Built in 12th century by Jayavarman VII , first floors are a pantheon dedicated to the

gods Khmers of the beginning of its construction , in a time of transition between

Hinduism and Buddhism . The superior floor is dedicated to Buddha Fabulous low

reliefs , 1200m in length and representing more than 11000 sculptured persons , very

long frescoes telling about the fights and the naval battles between the Khmers and the

Chams , as well as daily life (Angkor Journey and Tours , a

King Jayavarman VII also built the Ta Phrom Temple in Angkor (See photographs in Appendix . This incredibly atmospheric temple is described thus… [banner_entry_footer]


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