Thailand, Mon-Dvaravati Period / Standing Buddha / c. 7th CenturyThailand, Mon-Dvaravati Period
Standing Buddha
c. 7th Century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Thai
Creator Dates/Places: Thailand
Creator Active Place: Thailand
Creator Name-CRT: Thailand, Mon-Dvaravati Period
Title: Standing Buddha
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 580
Creation End Date: 719
Creation Date: c. 7th Century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: sandstone
Dimensions: Overall: 132.7cm, without tang: 114.2cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1973.15
Credit Line: Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
Context: This exceptionally beautiful and monumental sculpture depicts a standing Buddha with his body gracefully flexed in the tribhan'ga posture. Although his hands are now broken off, the arm positions indicate that the right one was once in the abhaya mudra while the left one supported the hem of his monastic garment. These hand positions, like the stance, are typical for the Sarnath school of sculpture in India, which was the source of inspiration for this image.The connection with Sarnath indicates an early date, before the 'national' characteristics of the Dvaravati style were formulated. The standard later images of Dvaravati Buddhas show a rigid frontal position, with both arms bent at the elbows, on a parallel level, displaying the varada mudra (blessing gesture). In fact, if it were not for the head of this image, which displays broad Mon facial characteristics, a purely Siamese feature, the image could almost have passed as a product of the Sarnath school.Another unusual feature of this Buddha is the refined treatment of the details such as the collar and shoulder bones, the cleavage in the center of the rib cage, and the rendering of the kneecaps. Entirely unique is the full modeling of the back with its subtly curved spine. This author, aware of only one other Dvaravati image of Buddha with a modeled back, believes this feature is a landmark of sculptures produced in the Shri Thep atelier in Petchabun province in north-central Thailand. Shri Thep was an important center on the trade routes between the Menam and Mekong valleys, an area adjacent to the ancient Dvaravati and Funan empires. This local principality was exposed to both influences, which it then transformed into an idiosyncratic style of its own. It is likely that Shri Thep started as an Indian settlement because all the sculptures have in common a strong dependence on Indian prototypes (as does the Cambodian image of Krishna, 1973.106).Following the historical assumption that Dvaravati broke from the Funanese empire and gained its independence in the seventh century, as attested by Chinese chronicles, one can speculate that would have been the most appropriate time for Shri Thep to have received the Dvaravati Buddhist influence as well as the time this image was conceived.When the sculpture entered the museum, the base with the feet was missing. It was later found and joined with the body. S.C.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1973.15
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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