U Thong Art

 

Front - Bronze Buddha in 'Subduring Mara' (Maravijaya) posture, circa 14th-15th century AD. Found in the crypt of the stupa at Wat Ratchaburana, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province.

Left - Gilded bronze Buddha in 'Subduring Mara' (Maravijaya) posture, circa 14th century AD. Found in the crypt of the stupa at Wat Ratchaburana, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province.

Right - Bronze Buddha in 'Subduring Mara' (Maravijaya) posture, circa 12th - 13th century AD. All currently on exhibit at the Bangkok National Museum).

 

The art of U Thong originated in the Central region of Thailand between the 12th - 15th centuries AD. The style was dwveloped with influences from different areas. U Thong Art falls into three distinct types.

 

Type 1 This first and rarely encountered type presents a mixture of Dvaravati and Khmer influences Distinguishable features are the lotus bud aureole, the hair frame, a Khmer styled square face and the long robe with the edge cut in a straight line. The base tended to be plain with an inward set V-shaped hollow.

 

Type 2 Bearing a stronger resemblance to Khmer and Lopburi stype art, Buddha images of the second type typically feature fine hair curls and a hair band. Occasionally the was tied into a topknot or transformded into a cone shaped cranial protuberance. A rather stern expression shown on a square face was similar to that of Lopburi style and the chin had a human-like cleft. The mantle, small than the Lopburi stype was cut into a straight edge. The Buddha is usually created in the 'Subduring Mara' (Maravijaya) posture. The lap is narrow and the shins are ridged (called the 'sharp-shinned' design). The base is concave with no decoration.

 

Type 3 Although strongly influenced by art from Sukhothai, some U Thong characteristics were retained as seen in the hair band and the base with the inverted V-shaped hollow. This style probably originated between the 14th - 15th centuries AD.