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Lacquered Bronze Image of Phrasangajaya
Thailand
Rattanakosin Period, 19th century

height: 37.5cm, width: 35cm, depth: 22cm

This wonderful bronze image of Phrasangajaya, cast in the Rattanakosin style of 19th century Bangkok, shows the deity sitting in a relaxed posture with his
legs in
sattvasana. He sits on a tiered base that includes a bronze representation of a carved wooden throne-like sitting platform on which is placed a stuff
bronze cushion.

His hands are on his prominent belly. His plump face has a serene, satisfied expression. He wears the robes of a monk, although somehow, his prominent and
large belly button is visible through the robes. He has the elongated earlobes of someone of noble birth, and tight curls over his head.

The image has been covered with black lacquer and has ample traces of gilding: originally, it would have been covered completely by gold leaf.

Images of Phrasangajaya are not common. They depict a monk who lived at the time of the Buddha. According to Thai Buddhist legend, Phrasangajaya was
so handsome that he attracted much unwanted female attention, so he asked to me made much less attractive so that he might better concentrate on the
Buddhist teachings. His wish was granted and he was made stout and obese.

Traditionally, images of Phrasangajaya were placed in a small hut to the front or side of a temple.

This example is in excellent condition. It is solid, stable and heavy.

References:
Tingley, N.,
Doris Duke: The Southeast Asian Art Collection, The Foundation for Southeast Asian Art and Culture, 2003.

Provenance: UK art market.

Inventory no.: 3866

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