Angkor Wat. L. Men Punished in Hell R. Victims of Khmer Rouge
12th c Cambodian Khmer Architectural Sculpture
KHMER (ANGKOREAN) Anonymous
(active c. 802 - c. 1450)
But all was not grace and charm in ancient Cambodia. The upper relief from the walls of Angkor Wat shows a group of men being punished in hell, chained together by the neck, as they are led to slavery and further torture. The rulers of ancient Cambodia were absolute rulers, the embodiment of the gods on earth, and the populace was expected to do their bidding. One wonders if chain gangs like this were a common sight as the vast temples like Angkor Wat were constructed, creating the embodiment of heaven on earth.
The painting on the bottom illustrates the horrible results of a modern attempt to create a paradise on earth, this one the people's paradise that Pol Pot, the French educated communist leader of the Khmer Rouge tried to create in Cambodia. The man that painted this picture was imprisoned by Pol Pot, and only because he was called upon to paint portraits of the leader, was he spared the execution that lay in store for so many of his compatriots. After Phnom Phen was liberated he did a series of paintings reflecting the experiences of torture and death he witnessed.
KHMER | Angkor Wat. L. Men Punished in Hell R. Victims of Khmer Rouge . | c. 1150-1200 | Cambodian | Khmer
Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios: