The Post-Angkor Period
A series of raids by forces from the Thai kingdom culminated in the capture of Angkor in 1431. The center of the Khmer kingdom moved south to the region of present-day Phnom Penh, which has remained the capital, with a brief exception in the sixteenth century when King Ang Chan I (r. 1516-1566) returned to Angkor. With limited resources, Khmer kings built no more of the monumental stone temples that expressed the might of their predecessors. Increasingly, wood became the material used for both art and architecture. Probably under Thai influence, the Khmer embraced the simplicity of Theravada Buddhism, which emphasized spiritual humility over metaphysical speculation. The simple dignity of this sect is expressed in the calm grace of the wooden sculpture of a worshiper, which was found in one of the galleries of Angkor Wat.
Copyright © 2008 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC