Southeast Asia


Pre-angkorian – 8th century
Gres, H 72 cm



From the square base (symbol of Brahma) the shaft evolves into an octagon (Vishnu), ultimately to become a cylinder, the finite-infinite emblem of the power of Shiva. Tripartite, each section of the same height, the lingam represents in aniconic form an absolute god and his phallus from which all things derive. This rare piece – only 30 pre-angkorian lingams existing – becomes more precious due to the presence of a small Shiva head on top.

Provenance: Italian private collection. Bought in 1990 at Galerie Beurdeley in Paris.

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