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Douglass rendered Angkor Wat's western entrance in 1927 in this 10 7/8" x 14 1/2" etching. Courtesy US Library of Congress.

From America to Angkor the Artistic Odyssey of Lucille Douglass

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.”

Rajarani Temple Indian Devata of Orissa

Rajarani Temple Indian Devata of Orissa

Set like a gem among fertile ricefields, the 11th century Rajarani Temple is a breathtaking example of of Orissan style. It is also an immediate architectural predecessor of the Khmer Empire’s greatest monuments.

Bayon Devata Goddesses of King Jayavarman VII

Bayon Devata Goddesses of King Jayavarman VII

On the towers above, serene faces gaze out over the jungle. But below, Jayavarman VII followed the example of King Suryavarman II by filling his monument with female energy. The portraits of sacred women, now called devata or apsaras depending on their style, surround the Bayon.