G711 BRONZE RECLINING BUDDHA
LAOS, PROBABLY FROM VIENTIANE
L. 31.5 CMS, 12 ½ INS
A beautifully cast bronze figure of the Buddha with a deep glossy brown patina, reclining in parinirvana on a rectangular dais with a double-lotus layer, the face tranquil and smiling, his right arm supporting his head and his left in a relaxed posture along his side, the chignon with large curls and topped by a flame finial.
The subject matter of this image is the passage of the Buddha into Nirvana. He lies down on a royal couch in the sala grove of the Malla kings beside the Hirannavati River. Surrounded by his faithful monks he utters his final words: “Everything is subject to change; strive on without delay”, and at dawn on the following day passed into the great Nirvana.
The Laotian kingdom of Lan Xang or Lan Chang was established during the 14th century and ruled by Thais. Its northern capital of Luang Prabang was subjected to cultural influences from the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, while its southern capital, Vientiane, absorbed Khmer and Ayutthaya (Thai) motifs.
For a closely related bronze parinirvana Buddha see page 229 in S. Lopetcharat, Lao Buddha: The Image and Its History, Bangkok: Siam International Book Company, 2000.
Provenance: Private English collection.
Previously in a private Swiss collection.