Buddha Images from Three Eras

Chiang Saen Buddha Image (11th-18th Century)

The characteristics of this Buddha image are a halo in the form of a lotus bud, large hair curls, a round face with a prominent chin and usually softened by a somewhat smiling expression. The body is corpulent with a much developed chest adorned with the short end of the robe over the left shoulder. The Buddha is usually seated in the cross-leg fashion. The pedestal is either decorated by two rows of lotus petals or in a plain convex shape.

Sukhothai Buddha Image (13th-14th Century)

The Buddha image can be recognized by a flame-like halo on top of the head, small curls, an oval face, arched eyebrows, a long and slender nose and a gentle smiling expression of serenity and compassion. The body of the Buddha is slender and the shoulders broad. The monastic robe is worn in the open mode with its end hanging to the naval and ending in a notched design. The base is plane and has a concave surface. Towards the end of the period, the face was round, the body more corpulent and the four fingers of the same length.

Ayutthaya Buddha Image (15th-18th Century)

This Buddha has an oval or square face, a flame-like finial on top of the head and marked line of hair edge on the forehead. The end of the robe hangs from the shoulder to the naval ending in a straight line.

The next time you look at Buddha images in a temple, take a closer look to see if you can work out which period they come from. The pictures of these Buddha images were taken at the Siam Cultural Park. Information is taken from brochures at the park and from the book “A Survey of Thai Arts and Architectural Attractions” published by Chulalongkorn University.

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