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.