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STYLISTICS OF EARLY KHMER ART

NANDANA CHUTIWONGS

2003(2 vols.), xxxvi+388pp., illus., ISBN:81-7305-256-5 (set),  Rs. 4500 (HB)


 

The present volume contains translations of Benisti's major publications dealing with Khmer art. The main article is a study of the relations between early Khmer and Indian art, i.e. seventh and eighth centuries, the crucial period of the introduction of Indian religion and other components of Indian culture in the first well-organized kingdom of Khmer land. She has referred to the process of transfer of concepts and motifs; movable objects, such as statues, caskets, ritual objects, etc., transported from India to Khmer land and their decoration which could have inspired local artists.

Benisti held that art is a living entity and that it is always in a state of transformation. In this context, she has pointed out links and translations between different styles, moments of evolution in which a particular style abandoned some characters and adopted the primitive aspect of new characters of a later style.

Several articles contained in this volume bring to light moments of transition from one style to another. She has given precise definitions and analysis of decorative motifs - the bezelband, the makara, the voluted leaf, the beaded garland, pendant, etc. Her systematic survey of styles, along with detailed study of iconography, thus provides a solid foundation for a comprehensive study of Khmer art.

 


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