Head of a Buddha

Historical period(s)
Ayutthaya period, ca. 1700
Medium
Bronze with glass and mother-of-pearl
Dimensions
H x W x D: 44.3 x 28 x 24.9 cm (17 7/16 x 11 x 9 13/16 in)
Geography
Thailand
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1909.49
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 22: Encountering the Buddha
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Buddhist sculpture

Keywords
Ayutthaya period (1351 - 1767), bronze, Buddha, Buddhism, Thailand, ushnisha
Provenance

Unnamed Siamese official [1]

To 1909
Mr. Gadelius, to 1909 [2]

From 1909 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased at sale, Collection of Siamese and Cambodian Antiquities, Curios and Relics, American Art Association, New York April 6, 1909 [3]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [4]

Notes:

[1] According to the object record for F1909.48, Curatorial Remark 5, H. E. Buckman, 1964, the Envelope File contained the following note by C. L. Freer, dated February 26, 1918: "Bronze head of Buddha, life sized. Brought to New York City by Mr. Gadelius during the winter of 1908-1909, and sold along with other Siamese and Cambodian objects, at the American Art Galleries, on April 6, 1909. Mr. Gadelius assured me that this head came from the ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia; and this statement appears in the catalogue of the sale. I attended the sale personally and purchased at the same time three other heads, S.I. 68 (F1909.49), 69 (F1909.50) and 70 (F1909.51)." According to Curatorial Remark 6, Louise Cort, February 18, 2002, "The catalogue of the sale of Siamese and Cambodian objects (6 April 1909) noted that they had been accumulated over a period of thirty-five years by a Siamese official."

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1. See also, Original Bronze List, S.I. 68, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[4] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Mr. Gadelius (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

In 1909, Charles Lang Freer purchased this and three other bronze heads of the Buddha from the American Art Galleries in New York City. The heads are remarkably different in style and give a sense for the range of artistic possibilities within the strictures of a single iconographic form. Here, the face is attentive and engaged, the eyes with delineated pupils and high arched brows. The shape of the face is a smooth oval, typical of Ayyuthaya period Buddha heads. The curls are tight and pronounced across the head and ushnisha. A jade-green patina enhances the full surface.

Collection Area(s)
Southeast Asian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum