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HOME : Asian Art : Art of Myanmar (Burma) : Pair of Mandalay Wooden Men Carrying a Palanquin
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Pair of Mandalay Wooden Men Carrying a Palanquin - X.0218
Origin: Myanmar
Circa: 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 37.375" (94.9cm) high x 10.5" (26.7cm) wide
Collection: Asian
Medium: Wood

Additional Information: Asia Art (Thailand) 2002
Location: United States
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The Mandalay Period represents the last great cultural flourishing of Burmese art. The period was named after the city of Mandalay, which served as capital of Myanmar for a brief period (1860-1885 A.D.) during the reign of King Mindon. After the Anglo-Burmese Wars, northern Myanmar was shut off from the coastal areas that were controlled by the British. King Mindon founded the new capital at a sacred site at the foot of a large hill. The center of the city was designed in the perfect geometrical form of a Buddhist Mandala, giving the city its name. Although this short- lived kingdom finally fell to the British forces in 1886 A.D. during the Third Anglo-Burmese War, the Royal Guilds that created such remarkable works of art for the King remained in the city where they continued to produce sculptures in the Mandalay style.

This pair of wooden sculptures depicts two men standing with one arm bent upwards, their hands help out at shoulder height, and their other arm hanging at their side. This pair would have once carried a palanquin, which has since disappeared. They stand on lotus bases and feature the round faces and horizontal features characteristic of the Mandalay style. They step forward as if they are in the midst of a procession, and we can imagine a series of similar figures following behind them. There are some remnants of polychrome pigment that would have once covered the pieces and enhanced their vitality.
- (X.0218)


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