Rattanakosin Buddha Statue
Rattanakosin also became the center of Buddha image, Buddha statues, and other various sculptures since it is quite different from that of Sukothai and Lanna Buddhist style.
The Rattanakosin kingdom is one of the most powerful kingdoms in the history of Thailand or Siam. The Rattanakosin Kingdom was considered as the fourth in terms of ranking as the center of power in ancient Thailand. The Rattanakosin Kingdom was very popular because of the continuation of Rattanakosin style even after Bangkok became new capital city of Siam. Rattanakosin also became the center of Buddha image, Buddha statues, and other various sculptures. The Rattanakosin Buddhist style is quite different from that of Sukothai and Lanna Buddhist style.
In terms of political power and war, Rattanakosin Kingdom went through two periods. The first period was a time of political conflicts between Burma, Vietnam and Laos and internal political conflicts for king’s power. The other half involves the war between Britain and France for the colonial powers. The kingdom of Siam is the only Southeast Asian Nation that had managed to remain independent of European Invasion.
Ratanakosin can be divided into four periods in terms of the development of Buddhist art and sculptures, as well as politics, and these four periods were given names of the kings of Ratanakosin. These four periods are:
Rama I and II
The first period was named after King Rama I and Rama II. This period lasted from 1782 – 1824. The Buddhist art still follows the style and art of Ayutthaya style. Buddha statues and images were still made from wood as well as bronze and were built on decorated pedestals. One of the popular Buddha statues was Buddha sheltered by Naga which were made mostly from bronze and the standing Buddha statues were decorated heavily.
The second period was named after Rama III. The real name of Rama III was King Phra Nangklao. This introduced various sculptures except Buddha images. The faces of the statues were made in plain and are not decorated unlike in the first period.
Actually this period can be considered as the golden age of the Rattanakosin art and style. King Rama IV brought a new era in Thailand in terms of politics as well as art too. King Rama III removed fashion of heavy decoration and replaced it with Buddha images covered in a beautiful robe of flower design. King Rama IV also removed the trend of putting crown or jewelry.
Rama V, VIII, and IX
This period started during the reign of King Rama V to the present time. This period mostly revolve around the three Kings: King Rama V, King Rama VIII , and King Rama IX. The mass production of Buddha statues, Buddha images, and other sculptures is the major development of this period. The development of Buddha images also involves copying of the ancient Buddhist style of Sukothai, Lanna, and ancient Ayutthaya. The main tradition of selling Buddha statues to various business galleries and monasteries are made in this period. So it can be concluded that major Buddha statues of Thailand that are found in the world are from this period.
Wat Pho – Reclining Buddha statues
Wat Pho, also known as the temple of Reclining Buddha is located in the Rattanakosin district, Bangkok, Thailand . Wat Pho Reclining Buddha statue is officially known as Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan. The Reclining Buddha statue of Ratanakosin is around 15m high and 43m long. The head of the reclining Buddha statue is supported by Lord Buddha’s right hand. The foot of Reclining Buddha statue is decorated 108 arranged panels which indicate the 108 auspicious symbols of Buddhism. We can also see 108 bowls in the corridor near the statue which symbolized the 108 auspicious characters of Lord Buddha. People who visit the temple drop coins in the bowl since people believed that it will bring good fortune and also helps the monks to maintain the temple of Wat Pho.
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