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37 Bury Street St James's
London, U.K., SW1Y 6AU
Tel: 020 7839 3414
Fax: 020 7839 3415
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Head of Buddha

Head of Buddha
Early Ayutthaya period, 14th-15th century
beige sandstone
Height: 47 cm, 18 ins.

A monumental beige sandstone head of Buddha, the eyes downcast and serene and the mouth set in a gentle smile; with traces of black lacquer remaining on the surface. 

From the collection of Leonard Unger, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand from 1967 to 1973.

Purchased in the 1960's. 

The kingdom of Ayutthaya was established by King U Thong in 1350 in the Chao
Phraya River basin to the north of Bangkok. Until the Burmese attacked and burned its capital in 1767 Ayutthaya was one of the richest and most enduring kingdoms of Southeast Asia, attracting innumerable merchants and other visitors- not only from neighbouring Asian countries but also from Europe as well. Colossal stone and stucco images of Buddha characterise the artistic creations of the early Ayutthaya period and the roundness of the face and ridged eyebrows of sculpture from this era- typified by the head shown here- are inherited from the traditions of Sukhothai. This unusually large head is suffused with great spirituality and serenity. 

For a similar head, see Cat. no. 68 in Hiram W. Woodward, 'The Sacred Sculpture of Thailand. The Alexander B.Griswold Collection', Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1997. 

Itemcode: Catalogue no.11

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