Bronze with brown patina and traces of gilding
18th century, Ayutthayā kingdom (1350-1767)
H. 47 cm
Buddha Śākyamuni is here depicted just before his Awakening. He is seated in the so-called “noble” pose, his right leg folded over his left leg. His right hand down, he touches the ground with the tips of his fingers. “Calling the Earth as witness” (bhūmisparśa mudrā) is one of the six canonical gestures made by Buddha during the major events of his life. Here he shows his good faith to have sworn to teach all beings the way to their release.
The style illustrates the beautiful eclecticism typical of the Ayutthayā statuary:
The face partially perpetuates Sukhothai’s aesthetic with the eyebrow arches extending on the bridge of the nose, the hair treated with small curls juxtaposed and terminating in the beautiful flame emanating from the uṣṇīṣa at the top of the skull. The folds on the neck are also well marked.
Compared to pure Sukhothai pieces, the face here is thinner and less elongated; the nose, less aquiline. The overall impression is ultimately lighter, more fluid.
Provenance: Private collection, France, since the 1960s – 1970s.