Every temple or shrine of the Hindu god Shiva has a phallic symbol, a 'Shiva Lingam', as the central focus. This particularly large and beautifully crafted 'Lingam' of light grey stone comes from Cambodia. The 'Lingam' has a square base, approx. 30 x 30 cm, with a height of also 30 cm. Followed upwards by a retracted transition into an octagonal central section, also approx. 30 cm high. At the top, a round section of the same height completes this abstract phallic symbol. The delicate line relief here also highlights the round stone as phallus. The 'Lingam' also encompasses further symbolism of the Hindu religion: the square base is interpreted as the god Brahma ('the creator'), the octagonal central section as the god Vishnu ('the preserver') and the top round, phallic section symbolises the god Shiva ('the destroyer'). Thus, in one single sacred object, the three main gods of Hinduism, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, are visibly displayed as a trinity ('Trimurti'). This 'Lingam' from Cambodia shows a beautiful old patina of dark grey (bottom) to light grey (top) and comes from the historic Angkor period, as Hinduism and Buddhism in Cambodia were simultaneously and peacefully worshiped side by side: 9th - 12th century. Rare! Total height: approx. 90 cm, weight: approx. 250 kg. (ME)
Prov: Belgian private collection. Lit.: 'Angkor', Madeleine Giteau, Ill. 8; 'Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum', Volume 3, Pratapaditya Pal, Ill. 132 - 139.
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