3. Seated Buddha
18th century, Ayutthayā style
Bronze with brown patina and traces of gilding
H. 58 cm or 22 ⅞ in
A lot of introspection and serenity emanate from this beautiful Thai Buddha. Very noble and finely crafted, it is part of the great gilded bronze artworks produced during the period of the kingdom of Ayutthayā (1350-1767), and more precisely during the 18th century.
In terms of style, this Buddha is a perfect witness of the refinement and elegance that define the statuary of Ayutthayā. There is a harmony in the proportions of the body and in the features of the face. The eyebrow arches extend on the bridge of the nose, the hair is treated with well-defined and regular curls. The cranial protuberance is enriched with the beautiful flame, symbol of the spiritual force of the Enlightened One. The heavy eyelids, finely drawn, show the meditative state of the Buddha from which emanates a great calm.
On the iconographic level, Buddha Śākyamuni is represented here at the moment of his Awakening. It happens while he is sitting in the so-called “noble” pose, his right leg folded over his left leg. During this fundamental event for Buddhism, he touches the ground with the tips of his fingers and sketches the gesture that bears the name of “Calling the Earth as witness” (bhūmisparśa mudrā). He thus shows his good faith to have sworn to teach all beings the way to their release.
Covered with a brown patina and many traces of gilt, the piece has an extremely decorative character.
Provenance: Private collection, France, since the 1970s.