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This majestic piece of 2 meters-long is made of sandstone, the same material that was used to build Angkor temples. It depicts nine Apsaras, also called ‘celestial nymphs’, who are cheerfully dancing together. It was inspired by a lintel from Preah Khan temple. Dimensions: W. 221cm x H. 50cm x L. 8.5cm
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This group of dancing nymphs is a recurring image of Cambodian temples as it was one of the most favored ornamental themes during the XIIth-XIIIth centuries. The beauty of this majestic bas-relief comes from its symmetry: the movements of the dancers gracefully converge symmetrically on the central Apsara, who is highlighted by a slightly taller crown and the garland hanging around her shoulders.
On this bas-relief, the position of the hands of the Apsaras is miming the posture of traditional dances which are still performed in Cambodia nowadays. These hand gestures are also called ‘mudras’ and most of them belong to the repertoire of the modern Phnom Penh Royal Ballet company.
This majestic sandstone bas-relief can be displayed outdoors under the rain and direct sunlight. However, it should not be exposed to long-lasting frost. You can clean this piece with clear water but it would be better to avoid any contact of the stone with oily products to prevent grease stains.