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HOME : Asian Art : Archive : Lan Na Sculpture of a Buddhist Disciple
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Lan Na Sculpture of a Buddhist Disciple - FZ.426
Origin: Northern Thailand
Circa: 14 th Century AD
Dimensions: 5.875" (14.9cm) high
Collection: Asian
Medium: Bronze


Additional Information: Sold

Location: United States
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Description
During the 11th Century A.D., Thai tribes migrating from southeastern China infiltrated and settled in the region of northern Thailand. By the beginning of the 14th Century, the independent Kingdom of Lan Na was established under the leadership of the dynamic King Mengrai. At the height of its power, the Lan Na Kingdom controlled most of contemporary northern Thailand, extending into parts of western Laos, and rivaled Ayutthaya. The cultural and political center was the city of Chiang Mai, founded in 1327 A.D. The art of the Lan Na Kingdom, produced between the 11th and 18th centuries, when the kingdom was absorbed into greater Siam, can be divided into two distinctive styles. The early style is called Chiang San after the city where many examples where discovered. Works from the Chiang San period reveal a wide range of influences, primarily from India and Cambodia. The later style is known as Chain Mai, after the capital city, although it is sometimes referred to as Late Chiang San. Images of this later type reflect the Lan Na Kingdom’s contact with the central Sukhothai Kingdom from the 15th Century onwards.

This Lan Na bronze sculpture of a Buddhist disciple dates from the Chiang San period. With fleshy cheeks, arched brows, downcast eyes, and lips bordered by contour lines, this disciple’s oval face bears the typical stylistic characteristics of this period. Seated in a prayer posture, hands pressed together in the Anjali mudra, the gesture of offering and veneration. Such a posture is rarely made by figures of the Buddha himself and is normally reserved for sculptures that would have accompanied images of the Great Buddha, such as this bronze work. His body, with broad shoulders, chest filled with Yogic breath, and a slim waist, is typical of the Chiang San style. These features give the work a sense of mass and strength. A Sanskrit verse has been inscribed along the base of the throne the disciple rests upon. This text may be a prayer or might clarify the specific identity of this disciple. A powerful work of immense energy, this bronze sculpture is a stunning example of the art of the Lan Na Kingdom. He greets us with calm compassion, as we aspire to his enlightened wisdom.
- (FZ.426)

 

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