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Image of The King's Temptress

Allan Clark
American, 1896–1950

The King's Temptress


Object Type: Sculpture
20 in. x 13 7/8 in. x 7 in. (50.8 cm x 35.24 cm x 17.78 cm)
Medium and Support: Polychromed mahogany
Accession Number: 1996.0012

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase

"The King's Temptress" is one of three versions of this carved mahogany figure inspired by a 9th to 13th-century temple dancer figure from the archeological site at Angkor Wat. In 1925, Clark travelled in Asia with an expedition from the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and in the later stages of this tour, around 1927, he visited the famous Cambodian temple complex. Like Clark's other works from this period, the Asiatic elements of this sculpture are primarily superficial. The elaborate headdress, the elongated eyes and the thin, arched eyebrows are characteristic of the Angkor Wat sculptures, but the realistically modeled features of the face and body and the heavy, sensual expression belong to the Western tradition of languorous, decorative nudes.

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