CATALOGUE No. 27 BRONZE SEATED MONK
THAILAND OR LAOS
18TH – 19TH CENTURY
H. 31.2 CMS, 12 ½ INS
An enchanting bronze figure of the venerable monk Phra Malai, seated in bhumisparsimudra with his left hand holding the remains of his monastic fan, his face with an intense spiritual gaze, wearing a thin sanghati (monastic robe) with a narrow sash over the left shoulder, with extensive traces of gilding
Phra Malai was a Buddhist monk who acquired special powers through meditation, enabling him to visit heaven and hell. He subsequently returned to earth and began to preach that our actions in life would lead to either future suffering or to happiness.
For a bronze seated Buddha in similar style please see p. 243 (Bottom left) in S. Lopetcharat, Lao Buddha: The Image and Its History, Bangkok: Siam International Book Company, 2000.
Provenance: Private German collection.