Antique Devotional Painting of Buddha ABA39


Known in Thailand as pa bai, this Buddhist scroll painting is the work an artist in Northern Thailand. It was painted as a devotional offering to make merit, or thamboon. It is an acrylic on canvass and depicts the Buddha in a meditation posture.

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The inspiration for the painting was a photograph reputedly taken of a Bohdi tree by a devotee in Bodhgaya, India in 1980. It is said that the photo was taken at the site of Shakyamuni’s (“Sage of the Shakyas”) great enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. The image, not seen at the time of photographing, subsequently appeared on the film. The photograph has been widely circulated online. One copy hangs at the Bhavana Society, a Theravadan monastery/nunnery in West Virginia. The last photo in the series is a copy of the referred to photograph taken in India.

The painting is 30-40 years old and in very good condition, free of holes, tears or other damage. This painting possesses a mystical quality, and is a beautiful depiction of the Buddha’s awakening. Devotional works of art such as this seem to deeply inspire Thai artists. Carved wooden rods have been sewn into the ends of the canvass, which could be removed if desired so that the painting could be framed.

Height: 102cm, 40 in
Width: 72cm, 28 in
Period: Mid 20th century
Materials: acrylic on canvass, wooden rods

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