The iconography of this rare covered jar may refer to a meditating sage, or 'rishi', one of the wandering ascetics associated with Hinduism and distinguished by their beards. The form may be that of a mountain, abstracted and translated into the Khmer ceramic idiom. Since mountains were considered the abode of the gods and a place of retreat, they were favourite haunts of ascetics. It is unclear whether this vessel had a specific function: it may be a funerary urn or a holy water jar, or something for everyday use. Although one of the finest examples of this type of Khmer jar, it is still covered in the technically flawed but characteristic smooth, brown glaze that easily flakes.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.317.
Bottle of gourd shape
Bottle with anthropomorphic features
Place where the work was made
Angkor period 802 - 1431 → Cambodia
mid 12th century
stoneware with brown glaze
Gift of Mr F. Storch 1981
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–13 Mar 2016
Referenced in 5 publications
Jackie Menzies, AGNSW Collections, 'Asian Art - India, South-East Asia, China, Tibet, Korea, Japan', pg. 173-228, Sydney, 1994, 180 (colour illus.).
Jackie Menzies, Arts of Asia, 'New Dimensions', pg. 54-63, Hong Kong, Nov 2003-Dec 2003, 58 (colour illus.). no.10
Asian Collection Handbook, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'South-East Asian Art', pg. 83-96, Sydney, 1990, 91 (illus.).
Portrait of a Gallery, 'Asian Art', pg. 106-113, Sydney, 1984, 108 (colour illus.).
The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 317 (colour illus.).