This very elegant, tall, cast bronze image of the Buddha, reflects a mix of styles and periods, and most probably dates to 19th century Lanna, in northern Thailand. The image is clothed in the most striking robes, which with their multiple pleats and folds, have the appearance almost of armour, which would befit a prince, which is what the Buddha was in his secular life.
The Buddha’s eyes are downcast; his expression is serene. The bud-like jewel to the top of the Buddha’s head is particularly elongated.
He sits on a high, tiered throne that is decorated with small upturned ‘wings’ and circular punch marks.
He sits in the ‘earth touching’ or bhumispara position, also known as the ‘calling the earth to witness’ pose, whereby the Buddha, seated in meditation under the Bodhi tree on the evening before his enlightenment, is challenged by the demon Mara to prove that he had given alms. The Buddha touched the ground with his right hand and asked the earth to bear witness to his past good deeds (Fraser-Lu & Stadtner, 2015, p. 152).
The surface of this image has age-related mottling. There are no losses and no repairs.
Fraser-Lu, S., & D.M. Stadtner, Buddhist Art of Myanmar, Asia Society Museum, 2015.
Karow, O., Burmese Buddhist Sculpture: The Johan Moger Collection, White Lotus, 1991.
Lowry, J., Burmese Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1974.
Somkiart Lopetcharat, Myanmar Buddha: The Image and its History, Siam International Books Company, 2007.