Head of Buddha

16th century. Ayutthaya Kingdom (1350-1767).
H. 17 cm or 6 ¾ in



The Buddha’s perceptible tranquility in this example is emphasized by an ornamental simplicity: it is crowned only by a single circlet leaf, which harnesses the viewer’s attention on his inner state. It is a beautiful example of the much-varied Ayutthaya style at its peak, with an exquisitely scaled dome and uṣṇīṣa, covered by near-immaculate and symmetrically raised nubs of hair terminating in a heart-shaped hairline. These are joined by other elegant features, such as the shallow raised eyebrows that separate before the bridge of the nose, where other eyebrows on examples form a continuous line. The eyes and ears are confidently achieved with graceful incurves.

Provenance: Private collection, France, since 1932.