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Portraits, Worship And Divine Images

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the following questions: Had the commemorative value of portraits also a religious perspective? If so, had it anything to do with death and ancestor worship? On the whole, did portraits receive some kind of cult? It also examines another feature of this intriguing text: the funerary worship of the statues. It is common to find references to images of distant ancestors, who are more or less lost in legend and who tend to be deified or of recently deceased relatives. However, the history of portraits in India and Southeast Asia cannot be limited to these posthumous images. The fact that divine images can be interpreted as some kind of portraits - as this chapter demonstrates - can then help us understand the nature of portraiture in a religious context. The survey commences with two stories on the origin of images in general.

Keywords: divine images; funerary worship; portraits; posthumous images; Southeast Asia; statues; worship



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