Description In parts of Thailand, a Buddha image is traditionally consecrated at dawn. Wax covering the eyes of the image is removed, and the sun's first rays, breaking through the eastern entrance doors of the temple, strike the golden image. Meanwhile monks chant a verse proclaiming that one who knows the truth as taught by the Buddha can ward off evil, just as the dawn drives away darkness and fills the air with light. The consecration of the image is a reenactment of another event that occurred at dawn: Sakyamuni Buddha's final victory over evil some 2,500 years ago in India. The Buddha at this time of his victory is the subject of this image and of almost every primary image in the monasteries of Thailand. The Buddha's right arm is lowered in the gesture that brought forth a flood that carried away the evil forces. The waters of the oceans compromised this flood, and they were equivalent to the good deeds the Buddha had performed in his past lives. The Thai of Sukhothai developed a new curvilinear style of image during the 14th century, which is now looked upon as classic.
|2/17/1984||Examination||examined for condition|
- Unearthly Elegance: Buddhist Art from the Griswold Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995.
Provenance Luang Ban; Alexander B. Griswold, Monkton, April 17, 1949, [presented to the Breezewood Foundation, 1964, inv. no. 637]; Walters Art Museum, 1977, by gift [under the auspices of the Breezewood Foundation].
Credit Gift of the Breezewood Foundation, 1977
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