The Bayon’s painting was able to capture the most distinctive feature of the Khmer temple: an immense amount of calm and massive stone faces which were carved on the many towers which cluster around the central peak of the upper terrace and jut out from it. This faces are combined with a majestic set of bas-reliefs, which depict many and varied passages of mundane, historical and mythological scenes.
This temple, with all its faces and adornments, is the most astounding representation of the baroque style. Bayon was built in the late 12th century and it still fascinates tourists because of its over two hundred large faces carved on fifty four towers. Most of scholars affirm that the faces represent King Jayavarman VII, while some of them think it rather represents Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara: an enlightened being from Buddhist mythology which embodies all the Buddhas’ compassion and to whom the King identified himself. The temple of Angkor also represents the center of the universe and it is placed in the heart of the ancient city. Its enigmatic and complex towers consist of four faces looking out towards the cardinal points.