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Angkor Vogue: Sculpted Evidence of Imported Luxury Textiles in the Courts of Kings and Temples

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Comparison of bas relief medallions at Angkor with medallion patterns on Chinese silk and Indian cotton textiles provides compelling evidence that fabrics from these regions were actually in use in the courts of Khmer kings. They served two purposes. One was as items of opulent palace decoration; this role transferred to stone temples, homes of the gods. Second, they represented a canopy or ceiling above a sacred space. Another group, here termed “pseudomedallions,” is described and their function speculated on. While the original textiles at Angkor have long since disappeared, their representations in stone survive as a memorial to these practices. En comparant les médaillons des bas-reliefs d'Angkor avec les motifs de médaillon sur les soieries de Chine et les cotonnades d'Inde, il ressort clairement que ces textiles ont été en usage à la cour des rois khmers. Cette utilisation fut double: pour la décoration luxueuse des palais, étendue à celle des sanctuaires de pierre, maisons des dieux; pour confectionner un dais ou couvrir un espace sacré. Un autre groupe de 'pseudo-médaillons', est également décrit et sa fonction envisagée. Alors que les textiles originaux présents à Angkor ont depuis longtemps disparu, leurs représentations lapidaires ont survécu, témoignant de leur utilisation passée.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Art History and Theory, University of Sydney;, Email:


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