Title: Buddha Seated Under the Naga
Date: 13th-14th century; Lopburi Period
Dimensions: Height: 37 13/16 inches (96 cm)
Gift of Alexander B. Griswold
Object Number: 78.098.037
The name Lopburi has generally been used to designate the Khmer-inspired art of Thailand. The region of Lopburi, in the northeastern part of Thailand bordering on Cambodia, came under Khmer domination from the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, but sculptural styles inspired by Khmer models continued well into the fifteenth century in the region. Sculpture from Lopburi, especially from the later part of the period, has often been considered to be of lesser quality than its Khmer counterpart, perhaps due to its remoteness in time and space from Cambodia. This sculpture is an example of the late style of Lopburi art. This period was characterized by its use of sandstone and featured both Hindu and Buddhist iconography, which accounts for the representation of the Naga, a multi-headed water snake associated with Hinduism. The image of the Buddha under the protective hood of the Naga is a common motif in Lopburi art. A major characteristic of the Lopburi style is the elimination of all adornment. The Buddha's robe is represented only by a faint line across his chest and a thin strip of cloth over one shoulder. Unlike the Buddha images found at such places as Sukhothai, the Buddha here does not display a flaming finial above the head, nor are his curls elaborately carved. He remains sober in his outlook, quite reminiscent of the Buddhas of the Bayon in Cambodia. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.