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Celestial Nymph, c.1100

Cambodia or Thailand: Angkor period, 1075-1125
Sandstone
37 x 21 x 5 in. (94.0 x 53.3 x 12.7 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.1975.15.3.S
© 2012 Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Celestial nymphs (apsaras) are commonly found along the bottom exterior and interior walls of Khmer-period temples in both Cambodia and Thailand. The function of these female figures was to entertain the gods, who were believed to reside in temples while on earth. The archway that frames this celestial nymph represents a multi-headed serpent (naga), similar to the sculpture, Antefix with Five-headed Serpent.


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