Head of a Buddha

Historical period(s)
Lan Na period, ca. 1500
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
H x W x D: 32.1 x 21.3 x 20.9 cm (12 5/8 x 8 3/8 x 8 1/4 in)
Geography
Thailand
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1909.50
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Sculpture
Type

Buddhist sculpture

Keywords
Buddha, Buddhism, casting, Lan Na period (1251 - 1774), Thailand, ushnisha
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
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 (F1909.48-51). Remarkably different in style, the heads reveal the range of artistic possibilities within the strictures of a single iconographic form. The gentle face of this Buddha is serene and contemplative, emphasizing his meditative focus. His gaze is down and inward, and his lips smile subtly. The snail shell curls over his bulbous cranial protuberance (ushnisha), along with his pierced elongated ears, mark him as a Buddha. Thailand's Buddhist art is remarkable for the way the image of the Buddha transforms subtly across centuries of casting in bronze.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
F|S Southeast Asia
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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