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King Nimi is carried through the heavens on a divine chariot,
a scene from the Nimi Jataka

approx. 1875–1925
Paint on cloth
Gift of Dr. Sarah Bekker, 2008.78

Sometimes, as here, a story of a previous life of the Buddha was rendered separately (though perhaps as a part of a set). In this story, the fourth of the ten, the pious King Nimi is invited by Indra to come to his heaven to speak with the gods assembled there. We see Nimi flying though the skies in the chariot Indra has sent for him, passing a celestial mansion. To the back of the chariot are attached two ceremonial standards similar in type to those displayed in Hambrecht Gallery.

The king’s name in Thai is inscribed below the chariot.

This painting, unlike any of the others in the exhibition, is painted on cloth fastened over a Western-type painting stretcher, and must date from a time by which Thai artists had become accustomed to using some Western techniques and formats.

all text & images © Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

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