Ayutthaya Art

Left - Bronze Buddha in Royal Attire, circa 15th-18th century AD. Currently on exhibit at the Chantarakasem National Museum, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province.

Right - Bronze Buddha in Full Regalia in "Inhibiting the Relatives" (Giving Pardon) posture, circa 15th-18th century AD. Currently on exhibit at the Chantarakasem National Museum, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province.

Back - Bronze Buddha in Full Regalia in 'Subduring Mara' (Maravijaya) posture, circa late 17th century AD. The figure illustrates a story from the Budda's life when he converted Phya Mahachompu. Currently on exhibit at the Bangkok National Museum).

The Ayutthaya period began when King Ramathibodi I (King U Thong) established Ayutthaya as a capital city in the 15th century AD. The city survived until its second defeat in 18th century AD at the hands of the Burmese. The Buddha images from this period are usually characterised by the distinctive hair frame and two small lines carved above the upper lip and the eyes, a feature that has survived into the current Rattanakosin period. Buddha images from the Ayutthaya era fall into three distinct categories.




Gilded Bronze Buddha in "Pacifying the Ocean" posture, circa 15th-18th century AD. Originally moved from Wat Phra Sri San Phet in the Royal Palace of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province to be enshrined at Hor Phra Nag and then later moved to Wiharn Yod during the restoration of Wat Phra Si Rattana Sassadaram (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).

Early Ayutthaya period Art during the early Ayutthaya periodwas influenced by Lopburi art Buddha images carved out of stone were highly prized.





Gilded Bronze Buddha head of Buddha, circa 15th-16th century AD. Found at the Grand Vihara, Wat Phra Sri San Phet, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province Currently on exhibition at the Bangkok National Museum)

Middle Ayutthaya period By this time Sukhothai characteristics had largely been adopted. The construction of large Buddha images became very popular and materials varied from gilded bronze to bronze plated and even brick and stucco Postures included, seated reclining and standing.

Late Ayutthaya period In the later period the creation of bronze Buddha images in royal attire became very popular Two distinct styles gradually evolved, a Buddha in profusely adorned Emperor's attire and a more moderate (throuhg still regal) version that featured a crown or diadem with flanges covering both ears. The bases also became more decorative for the seated Buddha images. A lion-legged base was developed and the frontal decorative banner or 'Pha Thip' at the base was filled with elaborate designs and ornamentation.