Antique Thai Buddhist Temple Scroll Painting ABA05


Known in Thailand as pa bai, this Buddhist scroll painting was lovingly completed by an artist in Northern Thailand as a devotional offering to make merit, or thamboon. It is an acrylic on canvass and depicts the Buddha during pra-bot, or giving a discourse on the cause of suffering and the means of ending it.

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The Buddha, who stands on a lotus pedestal, is joined on either side by heavenly angels sitting in the posture of receiving the dharma or eternal truth, and below, attendant monks listen attentively, palms together. At either side of the Buddha’s head, pagodas or stupas rest upon clouds, symbolizing the universe. At the crown of the Buddha’s head is a flame aureole, symbolizing the mystical light or aura generated by the Buddha, said to be seen by many when Buddha walked the earth. Above, a parasol or chattra symbolizes universal protection and signifies the highest rank. At either side of the parasol, the moon and sun radiate light and flowers fall from the heavens, symbolizing the beauty of the teaching.

It is a beautifully executed devotional piece of art. Carved wooden rods have been sewn into the ends of the canvass. It is in very good condition, free of holes, tears or insect damage. Small, subtle patches of discoloration (the result of decades of rainy seasons) are visible, but don’t seem to diminish the aesthetics of the painting.

Height: 145cm, 57 in
Width: 70cm, 27.5 in
Length of rods: 92cm, 36 in
Materials: acrylic on canvass, wooden rods
Period: Early 20th Century

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