Thai / Crowned Buddha / 11th-12th centuryThai
Crowned Buddha
11th-12th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Thai
Creator Name-CRT: Thai
Title: Crowned Buddha
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1000
Creation End Date: 1199
Creation Date: 11th-12th century
Creation Place: Thailand
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Copper alloy
Dimensions: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.080
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: The study of Cambodian and Thai sculpture dating from the 10th to 14th centuries is primarily the study of the civilization and culture of the Khmer empire. The Khmers inhabited and controlled parts of mainland Southeast Asia from the 6th century onward. This standing sculpture of a Buddha illustrates the impact of Khmer art in Thailand from the late 11th to the early 13th centuries. The Buddha wears a skirtlike dhoti and a long shawl. He is crowned and wears earrings, a necklace, and a thick belt. His hands are held in the gesture of reassurance (abhayamudra), and on each palm is a wheel (chakra), symbolizing the Buddhist teachings.

The style of Buddhas of this type is often classified as Lop Buri, after the name of a city in Thailand that was a viceregal Khmer city in the 11th and 12th centuries. Lop Buri also appears to have been an important center for the production of stone and bronze images of the Buddha. Bejeweled Buddhas of this type are found in the decoration of Phimai, a temple dedicated to Esoteric Buddhism constructed at the beginning of the 12th century in the southeast part of central Thailand. Image types developed for this site were influential in Thai and Cambodian art during the late 12th and early 13th centuries. The crown and other jewelry in these 12th-century examples may refer to the reign of Jayavarman VII (1181-c. 1218), a Khmer monarch who ruled as a buddha-king rather than a Hindu god-king and thus dedicated his monuments to Buddhist rather than to Hindu divinities. It may also illustrate a belief in the transcendence--rather than the historicity--of the Buddha, which is typical of Esoterism, the branch of Buddhist thought favored by Jayavarman VII.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 39.
Related Document Description: Woodward, Hiram W., Jr. 'Interrelations in a Group of South-East Asian Sculptures.' Apollo (November 1983), p. 383.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.080
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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