National Geographic : 1912 Mar
The best specimens of the decorative art of Ang kor are to be found upon these columns, especially those in the form of pilasters with the lintel above them. Indeed, it is doubtful if at its best it can be surpassed-let us say often surpassed, to be very careful-by the best that can be shown from classic remains. Just a few inches from the bot tom is usually to be found a bearded Buddha, and above, a tracery in stone, the pattern of which is as delicate and graceful as fine embroidery. The grotesque is some times employed on the ex terior in the form of a modified facade, or pedi ment, over an entrance, the motif being sometimes a dancing figure, or more often an entanglement of monkeys. Itistobe remembered that these decorative designs liter ally "crowd the canvas," with an evident purpose to leave no visible space unadorned. True, many of the designs are re peated over and over, but the number and variety are nevertheless amazing. Probably the most in teresting of all the deco rations is the several series of bas-reliefs, which are first in the matter of quantity. Here is a par tial summary of the pro cessional bas - reliefs of this one structure: I. Battle between men and monkeys-a favorite theme-160 feet long. 2. Battle between Hin dus and unknown ene mies, 160 feet long. 3. Hunting procession, 324 feet long. 4. Three more battle processionals, 171, 219, and 300 feet, respectively. Fournereau Collection A QUEEN WITH FIVE TIARAS: WALL DECORATION IN THE CENTRAL TOWER: ANGKOR WAT These are the principal decorative figures in the most con spicuous parts of the temple. The feet had to be put on some how, sc the sculptor turned them sideways (see page 240).