Audio Tour Set No. 62 Location at ANM: Gallery C
1. Artifact's name: Lintel
2. Period: Angkorian preiod, End of 10th century Style: Banteay Srei
3. Provenance: ______________________
4. Historical background and its remark
A lintel is an element of Khmer architecture applied to the front sanctuary. It is always placed in a horizontal line by forming a rectangular stone block that spans between pediments and two colonnettes, flanked by the pilasters. Most of the classical lintels are rich with ornamentation and narration of Khmer beliefs. As remarked by Mr. Khun Samen, no lintel of Phnom Da style has ever been found.
Basically, lintels in Khmer arts are classified in two types: the plant-decorated lintel and the scene-depicted lintel, and in two different major periods, Pre-Angkorian and Angkorian. Each phase is identified by a specific name of a typically regional design
known as styles. For example, in the Pre-Angkorian of the 7th to 8th centuries, there are the Sambor Prei Kuk, Prei Khmeng, Prasat Andet and Kompong Preah styles. In the Angkorian period dating from the 9th to 13th centuries, there are the Kulen, Preah Ko, Bakheng, Koh Ker, Pre Rup, Banteay Srei, Khleng, Baphoun, Angkor Wat and Bayon styles.
This striking carved lintel is made of pink sandstone. The elegance and refinement of the ornamentation is highlighting the importance of the evolution of the sculptor's technique which is very smooth, intricate, and varied vegetation motifs like in wood carving techniques. This lintel is regarded as a high relief of stone carving from the Angkorian period in the Banteay Srei style. It depicts a wonderful relief figure of the god Indra on the three-headed elephant in the vegetation motif curved niche. Impressively, the Kala head is shown at the bottom, swallowing or splitting the foliage branch from his mouth. This graceful foliage branch is invented with two charming lions and the foliage scrolls upward and bends down to each side emerging from his mouth. The ends of the foliage branch are leaves with divergent tendrils and convergent miniature charming Garudas holding the Nagas. The upper and lower end of the foliage branch is decorated with stunning curved leaves motif. Over the god Indra, there is a dynamic relief of Shiva and Uma on the Nandi with one leg stepping forward in the upper frieze with decorations of 12 seated hermits in the decor niches flanked by dynamic elegant Garudas.