Audio Tour Set No. 43 Location at ANM: Gallery A
1. Artifact's name: Standing Vishnu
2. Period: Pre-Angkor Period, 7th century Style: Sambor Prei Kuk
3. Provenance: Kampong Speu Province
4. Historical background and its remark
Hinduism gathers an extraordinary rich pantheon around a divine trinity, made up of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Theoretically, Vishnu is the protector and savior of the world, physically depicted through the works of art. Vishnu has only one head, and most often four arms, except for a few standing statues with eight arms, for instance, the standing sandstone Vishnu (in the Bayon style) at Angkor Wat temple and the Pre-Angkorian period (6th century), made of schist, presently displayed in the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
This statue of Vishnu appears with four arms, holding the Chakra (a disc-like weapon), the conch shell, the mace and the ball. These attributes represent the fundamental elements of the cosmos: earth, wind, water and fire. This magnificent statue was sculpted with a heavy appearance, a frontal viewpoint, a hierarchical stance and with impressive elaboration on his cylindrical miter. The face is smiling and gentle. The modeling of the torso is executed with a natural depiction of the male anatomy. Remarkably, at the center of his Sampot (wrapped garment), a long dropping edge from the knot of his upper Sampot to his ankles form an extra supporter which was already applied at the back of his head, beneath the ball and the mace. This support technique was created in order to keep balance and strengthen the structure of the sculpture.