Friday, 7 December 2007

The Thai Buddha Image - Chiang Saen-Lanna Art

Chiang Saen-Lanna Art refers to object found in Northern Thailand dating between 11th, 13th or 10 centuries AD. The Buddha images from this period can be categorized into 2 distinct phrases.

  • Former Phase - With similar characteristic to the Pala Indian style, Buddha images typically featured a lotus bud or orb shaped finial and large hair curls ( without hair band), a plump torso and prominent chest.
    The face is round with a gently smiling expression, high curving eyebrows, a hooked nose, narrow lip and a knobbed chin. A short mantle with a zigzag "Centipedes Fang" design is usually positioned above the breast, Figure would usually be posed in the Subuing Mara posture and rhe Buddha would be seated cross legged, showing the soles of both feet.
  • Later Phase : Later influences from Sukhothai introduced an extended lotus shaped or flame shaped finial, fine hair curls and a thin hair band. The torso and chest sometimes resembled those of the former phase, but the face was more oval ( some works still featured the round shape) The mantle usually extended down the navel. The posture was also modified to a seated position with the sole of only one foot visible and the base upon which the figure was seated was undecorated. Buddha image draped in royal attire and appearing in different postures were also initiated, often featuring more decorative element on the base.

It was during this time that the creation of Buddha images in crystal and precious stone became very popular.

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