Born in Salles en Gironde, France on Mar. 19, 1886, Jean Despujols is best known to Southeast Asian scholars for his stunning art depicting French Indochina during his two-year mission throughout the region from 1936-1938. His paintings of Angkor and Cambodian dancers are among the most beautiful ever created. This article by his grandson, Godefroy Hofer, describe the competition that established his reputation as a world-class artist and celebrate a magnificent anniversary: Jean Despujols’ centennial of winning the Grand Prix de Rome on July 18, 1914.
In early 20th century Cambodia, George Groslier established the School of Cambodian Arts, teaching students the crafts of modelling, wood-carving, sculpture, bronze-casting, furniture-making, the art of the goldsmith or silversmith, and (for girls) weaving. In 1936, English author Miss H. W. Ponder published “Cambodian Glory,” including a detailed chapter about this unique school titled “The Tree of Knowledge.” This is the second of a four-part series of articles excerpted from her work.
In 1936, English author Miss H. W. Ponder published Cambodian Glory, including a detailed chapter about George Groslier and the School of Cambodian Arts titled “The Tree of Knowledge.” Excerpts from her article are featured on Devata.org as a four part series detailing Groslier’s work reviving the classic crafts of the Khmer people by founding the School of Cambodian Arts. This is the first article in a four part series.
Cambodian imagination knows no bounds! This new collection of Cambodian folktales in English and French takes readers through imaginative twists and turns to meet simple villagers living deep in the jungle, kings and princesses in fabulous palaces, angels and gods of the Hindu heavens…you’ll even confront (and outwit) fierce pirates hiding in island lairs! Originally collected by French writer G. H. Monod in the early 20th century, Cambodian scholar Solang Uk adds new perspectives and cultural information to this new edition to make these timeless tales even more entertaining. The rare cover painting of Cambodian village life was done by artist George Groslier in 1912.
A mystery. How is it that in 1927, a 23-year-old woman understood more about the diversity of the 1,800 devata goddesses at the Khmer temple of Angkor Wat than mainstream scholars would see for the 80 years?
Equipped with nothing but a pad of paper and a pencil, Sappho Marchal was the first person to begin a quantitative analysis of the symbolism encoded in the royal female portraits immortalized in Angkor Wat. Who are these women? What hierarchy do they represent? Chances are the answers to these questions are portrayed in Sappho’s clear drawings.
In 1927, American artist Lucille Douglass wrote the lines below…who would suspect that she would remain at Angkor Wat for all eternity?
“Angkor is one of the really great experiences of my life-a more intellectual than emotional experience — not that it left me cold, quite the contrary — but it was more of an uplift — an inspiration.
“Our stay — longer than most tourists — was all too short — Angkor Wat alone requires years of study — living with understanding — a few days seems but a mockery.
“I have never had a place affect me so peculiarly. . . . I shall go back for a time as long as I can stand it and do further study on the spot.
“You see the ruins are set in the midst of the jungle — which held them in its clutches for so many centuries that it still seems jealous of them.”
This rare 1923 publication of French artist André Joyeux’s colorful paintings of Indochina is now available as a modern, full-color hardcover edition.
“Koh Ker site and the reign of Jayavarman IV, art history and archaeology” by Dr. C. Chanratana, gives the history of Cambodia’s King Jayavarman IV.
Digital Kindle Cambodia books 2013 offer Angkor history and even folktales instantly at your fingertips with Amazon’s Kindle Reader.
For exploring the temples of Cambodia the best Angkor guidebook is Michel Petrotchenko’s “Focusing on the Angkor Temples – The Guidebook.” In addition to detailed descriptions and historical information, it’s packed with full color images, maps, diagrams and temple site plans that puts a tremendous amount of information at your fingertips, whether you’re an expert or a first time visitor.