The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection - Michelangelo.
Every work of art tells a story. In Cambodia, aesthetically stunning monuments and artifacts tell us about a rich tradition steeped in history and symbolism: the stone carving. Earlier Khmer art was influenced by the Indian culture and its Hindu themes. But, by the 7th century, Khmer sculpture began to drift away from its Hindu influences and, through constant stylistic evolution, came to develop its own originality, which by the 10th century, can be considered complete and absolute.
During the golden age of the Khmer civilization (9th -12th centuries), Kings of Angkor launched a vast building plan of stone temples. So, the art of stone carving was both a passion and a livelihood for more than a Cambodian sculptor. However, after the fall of the empire, carving became limited in general to the handicraft-type projects we know today. That is, small Buddha sculptures and statues, deity carvings and so on and so forth.
Photo taken in Banteay Srei.
The damaged western entrance of Pre Rup.
Pre Rup is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman and dedicated in 961 or early 962. It is a temple mountain of combined brick, laterite and sandstone construction.
The temple’s name is a comparatively modern one meaning "turn the body". This reflects the common belief among Cambodians that funerals were conducted at the temple, with the ashes of the body being ritually rotated in different directions as the service progressed.
Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man - Thomas Tredgold.
Angkor Wat is an amazing work of Khmer architecture. It shows that symmetry and repetition were very important to Khmer design: galleries with columns, towers, curved roofs, tympanums, steps and the cross-shaped plan occur again and again.
Spreading over 30 years, the construction of the temple required about 6 to 10 million blocks of sandstone with an average weight of 1.5 tons each. The blocks were transported from Mount Kulen, a quarry approximately 40 km to the northeast, thru a series of canals.