The Arts of Thailand

The Arts of Thailand

Steve Van Beek

Language: English

Pages: 220


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Arts of Thailand examines the stunning visual history of Art in Thailand.

Blending a multiplicity of cultural influences with their own artistic genius, the Thai people have created some of the world's finest art. In this definitive introduction to Thai art, author Steve Van Beek takes a wide-ranging look at how these diverse forces were fused into a wealth of art forms which are uniquely Thai. As a means to a fuller understanding of Thai culture, he explores the symbolism of architecture, sculptures, and painting. The Arts of Thailand also covers contemporary art and the minor arts.

The text by Steve Van Beek, a 30 year resident of Asia with a special interest in art, is based on exhaustive research in museums, libraries, architectural sites and Thai temples, as well as interviews with collectors and art historians.

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Avalokitesvara, related to the Amithaba Buddha of the west, was the most popular among sculptors of the Srivijaya and late Lop Buri periods. The Boddhisatva Avalokitesvara may be portrayed with four arms (the usual number) or as many as 11 heads and 22 arms. He has a heavily ornamented body, and may have an antelope skin flung over his left shoulder or a tiger skin tied at his waist. The key identifying mark is his hair which is tied in a chignon Oatamukuta) and decorated with an image of

sites i11 the area of Nakho11 Si Thammarat. {Na tio11al M11Se11111, Nakho11 Si Thm11marat} 56 Below: This 5th-6th cwtury sa~tdsto11e tablet of Buddha is modeled 011 the Samath School of the l11dia11 Gupta period. The 17 em. piece was found at Wimg Sa i11 Sural Tha11i. {formerly i11 Ba11gkok Natio11al Museum. 11ow moved to the Wat Phra Mahathat Muswm. Chaiya} Above: Boy with Mo11key. this pair of red terracotta images are 8 n11 . tall a11d date from the 4/h-sth cwturies. Fou11d i11 U Tho11g {U

schools of bronze casting flourished, but the term Chiengsaen would more appropriately be applied only to those pieces produced by that school. The area of Chiengsaen may have emerged as an important trade crossroads as early as the 7th century and achieved great prominence in the 12th. The actual city of Chiengsaen was founded only in 1327, but the principality of Ngon Yang, whose exact location remains unknown but was near Chiengsaen, was the first capital of the northern Thai people and the

Ayutthaya was replaced by an airier, lighter design that substituted height for mass with slender columns and roofs more sharply peaked. By contrast to Ayutthaya's grandly ornate decoration, Bangkok's buildings and wats were subdued. The walls of the principal wats were covered in a wider variety of materials like ceramic tiles, mirror tiles or marble slabs which clad them from ground to roofline. Doors and window shutters were elaborately decorated in gilded reliefs, gold and lacquer, painted

years passed. 25 Opposite: T!Jis Sukhothai period Buddha Sassada was origi11ally placed i11 Wat Phm Si Rata11a Mahathat, a11d is 110w i11 the viha11 of Si Sassada i11 Ba11gkok 's Wat Bovomivet. Below: This superbly-carved fivebeaded sto11e 11aga is 011e of a pair guardi11g the wtm11ce to the mai11 sa11Ct11ary of Pmsat Pbmw111 R1mg. Bottom: A sketcb ofa 11aga. that decorates the edge of tbe roof 26 Below: The phra rabiwg is the cloister that Hormally s11rro1111ds a wat co11rtyard a11d

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