Buddha Shakyamuni

c. 13th century
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General Description

Khmer rule (802-1431) extended into Thailand and remained dominant until the 13th century. The central Thai city of Lopburi, which gives its name to the period style of this large-scale Buddha, was both the political and artistic center of the region. The gesture, two hands raised with palms outward in ham samut (forbidding the ocean pose), was one that became popular in the 12th century. It prob­ably refers to the Buddha’s display of supernatural powers by his holding back floodwaters when converting his disciple Kassapa. If this interpretation is correct, it might also explain why the Buddha is shown wearing extravagant jewels and a crown—part of his supernatural display— instead of his usual monk’s garb.

Adapted from

Nancy Tingley, "Standing Buddha," in Anne Bromberg, The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 236.

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