ST569 A SANDSTONE BUST OF A BUDDHA
THAILAND, EARLY AYUTTHAYA PERIOD
14TH – 15TH CENTURY
H. 43 CMS, 17 INS.
A monumental, beautifully sculpted pale buff sandstone bust of Buddha, the eyes cast downwards in meditation and the face beatific beneath a raised chignon; the neck with three lines denoting greatness, with traces of red lacquer and stucco on the surface.
This head was crafted during the period of Thailand’s Ayutthaya Kingdom. The kingdom of Ayutthaya, established by King U Thong in 1350 in the Chao Phraya River basin to the north of Bangkok was, until the Burmese attacked and burned its capital in 1767, one of the richest and most enduring kingdoms of Southeast Asia, attracting innumerable merchants and other visitors, not only from neighbouring Asian countries but also from Europe as well. Colossal stone and stucco images of Buddha characterise the artistic creations of the early Ayutthaya period.
For a comparable head see cat. no. 68 in H.W. Woodward, The Sacred Sculpture of Thailand: The Alexander B. Griswold Collection, Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1997.
Provenance: Private Swiss collection.