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Head of Buddha - detail

Abstract

Bronze, 14 x 6 inches. The Buddha head closely follows stylistic traditions of 16th-century Thailand, the Ayuthaya period/ dynasty, when the Thais became an independent and unified kingdom. Whether this is a 16th-century object or a modern copy is less important than the paradigms of Thai sculptural form that it embodies. The idealized form of the Buddha image depicted here follows a formal trajectory that can ultimately be traced back to Gupta-era India; that is, the form of the Buddha's body is idealized in terms of certain preconceived notions of the ideal body that originated in aesthetic texts of Gupta-era India. Thus this handsome Buddha head epitomizes the notion of physical beauty but simultaneously conveys the understanding of the Buddha as a detached, divine, and transcendant being. The aesthetic conventions of his depiction, like Buddhism itself, were long-established across a cultural region that stretched from the homeland of the Buddha in northeastern India to the farthest lands of East and Southeast Asia. Thus in Thailand at this time, while artists had long ceased depending directly on South Asia as a formal source, shared assumptions about the nature of the Buddha created a shared notion for sculptural form.

Note

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Administrative Notes

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Fairfield University
PID
coccc:25089