Rattanakosin Sculpture of a Kneeling Buddha

SKU PF.6246

19 th Century AD


15″ (38.1cm) high


Gilt Bronze



Gallery Location



After the destruction of Ayutthaya in 1767 by the Burmese, King Tak Sin the Great drove out the invaders and reunified the country, establishing a new capital at Thonburi, a strategic river port town at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River. After Tak Sin was deposed, Thong Duang was chosen as king, known as Rama I, establishing the Chakri Dynasty which continues to reign over Thailand to this day. He moved the capital across the banks of the Chao Phraya River to its present location of Bangkok. The art of this period is known as the Rattanakosin style, although it is also referred to as the Bangkok style. Naturally, Rattanakosin art carried on many of the traditions of the Ayutthayan style, thereby establishing a link with the past.

The historical figure, Buddha Gautama Sakyamuni is the Buddha of compassion who, having achieved the highest evolutionary perfection, turns suffering into happiness for all living beings. Born around 560 B.C. somewhere between the hills of south Nepal and the Rapti river, his father was a Raja who ruled over the northeastern province of India, the district including the holy Ganges River. The young prince was married to Yashoda when he was about 17 years old and together they had a son named Rahula. At the age of 29, he left his life of luxury, as he felt compelled to purify his body and make it an instrument of the mind by ridding himself of earthly impulses and temptations. Here, the Buddha is represented kneeling upon a rectangular pedestal. The Buddha displays calm and peaceful expression. Such expression reveals the clear, pure state of his mind that is separate from the carnal world. He wears a large crown that hangs down to the ears in the form of foliated wings. He also wears a diamond shaped pectoral piece, a large beaded neckpiece, and an ornate garment that cascades over his body. The wing shaped decoration motif is also attached on the Buddha's arms and knees. This beautiful gilt Buddha figure shows one's purest effort and energy to reach the goodness and the rectitude within. And as the beloved symbol of a religion, this gilt Buddha perhaps was placed in a temple or a shrine to be cherished and worshiped.

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