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Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art

Standing Buddha
Laos; from the vicinity of Vientiane
late 18th - early 19th century

An immensely tall and lithe, gilded and lacquered teakwood figure of a standing Buddha atop a square pedestal, the raised smooth usnisha topped by a flame finial, the eyes inlaid with mother of pearl and half-closed in meditation, the face set with a serene expression; both arms pendant by his sides in the ‘calling for rain’ posture, wearing a long flaring dhoti with a centre pleat and secured with a plain belt.

Laotian sculpture is rare, especially when it is sculpted in friable materials like wood, which often falls victim to humidity or to insects. The Laotian kingdom of Lan Xang or Lan Chang was established during the 14th century and ruled by Thais. Its northern capital of Luang Prabang was subjected to cultural influences from the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, while its southern capital, Vientiane, absorbed Khmer and Ayutthaya (Thai) motifs. For a related example please see fig. 398 in M. Girard-Geslan et al, Art of Southeast Asia, New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc, 1998.

all text & images Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art

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