Art on Friday: A Khmer Beauty

Goddess | Cambodia | Angkor period, first quarter of 10th century | Sandstone | 124 x 38 x 24 cm | Arthur M. Sackler Gallery |Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Khmer sandstone sculptures are justly famous for their refined portrayal of Hindu deities. This imposing sculpture is believed to be Uma, wife of the Hindu god, Shiva. She wears a serene expression and an alluring smile. She gazes down, as if to draw the viewer to her voluptuous body. Every part of that body is endowed with sensual curves, from the stupendously large breasts to the curvaceous torso of a belly dancer draped in a sampot with flowing pleats.

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