A bronze figure of Vishvakarman, the celestial
architect, seated in a half-kneeling posture on a
rectangular base. As architect to the gods and
patron of craftsmen, he holds an axe in his right
hand, resting the weight on his right shoulder. In
his left hand he grasps a noose between his
thumb and forefingers. The deity is sumptuously
adorned with a tiered headdress and elaborate
jewellery, including spiral earrings, arm bands,
necklace and anklets. His lower body is clothed
in a striated sampot.
Vishvakarman was unknown in the Cambodian
world before the twelfth century; his name is first
recorded in a stele inscription of 1191 at Preah
Khan in Angkor (associated with Jayavarman VII).
Primarily a Hindu deity associated with Indra, he
was also popular with Cambodian Buddhists in
the 12th and 13th centuries.
For a comparative example see E. C. Bunker and
D. Latchford. ‘Adoration and Glory: The Golden
Age of Khmer Art,’ (Chicago, 2004), pp. 275-
277, No. 95. (AM)