Vishnu Anantasayin

East Lintel, Mandapa, Phnom Rung

This celebrated lintel disappeared from the site and reappeared in America in the early 1960s, under mysterious circumstances. After delicate negotiations, it was finally returned to Phnom Rung and reinstalled in 1988. The carving depicts Vishnu resting on Ananta. The god holds attributes of club and chakra. Above his body, Brahma is seated on a lotus which really should issue from Vishnu's navel, although the artist has not shown this connection.

Compare and contrast: the Royal Barge of Rangoon.

Sitting at Vishnu's feet to gently massage his leg is the broken-off figure of his consort, Lakshmi. The whole composition is canopied beneath the extended tails of two partially broken-off birds that Freeman (citation below) identifies as hamsas (geese), and infilled with luxuriant foliage and lotus buds. The serpent Ananta has changed, in this version, into something that looks more like a makara (or perhaps a Chinese dragon, as Freeman, p.105, has it). The section of lintel to the right is a nature fantasy with Garuda on Kala, two parrots facing each other below Kala, a monkey and her baby in the upper right corner, and an elephant in the upper left.