Buddha head

Bronze with black and green patina
Thailand, Ayutthaya
17th century
H. 29 cm

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This interesting Buddha head, produced during the Ayutthaya period, is in a mixed style that can be compared to that of Sukhothai, which greatly inspired Ayutthaya craftsmen in the production of Buddhist figures. The Buddha’s head is fairly round, his face oval with stylised, symmetrical features, and his nose convex.

The Buddha wears a delicate crown, finely decorated with friezes of incised floral and geometric motifs, and medallions of flowers. It surrounds the four-tiered conical usnisa. The half-closed eyes are directed downwards, the eyelid is incised and bordered by protruding eyebrows, which meet in the centre to extend to the busted nose characteristic of the Sukhothai style. The mouth is slightly smiling, with a slightly protruding edge.

The ears here are fragmentary, but we can make out the earlobes deformed by the earrings, a reminder of Prince Siddhartha’s prestigious past life. The overall impression is one of serious serenity, in keeping with the Buddha’s mode of representation.

Provenance: Roger Maugras Collection, then Galerie Barrère, 1999.