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Asian Art
Southeast Asia gallery See nearby items (accurate to +/- 12 hrs)
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Ratanakosin period (1782- ) Thailand
Buddha Shakyamuni in Parileyyaka forest 1822-1853 Place made: Thailand
Materials & Technique: sculptures, bronze, lacquer, gold leaf, coloured glass, iron
Dimensions: 155.0 h x 82.0 w x 40.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1978
Accession No: NGA 78.535
Provenance:
  • The supplied chain of ownership for this object is currently being reviewed and further research is underway. The provenance information listed has been substantiated by documentation. Details may be refined and updated as research progresses.
  • with antique dealer Santi Vichyastit of Santi's, Bangkok, 1978 or before
  • from whom bought by the Australian National Gallery, 1978 for USD 20,000

MORE DETAIL

  • This sculpture represents one of the eight great events of the Buddha’s earthly life. During a rainy season retreat, when a quarrel broke out between his followers, the Buddha, also known as Shakyamuni, left the monks to sort the matter out among themselves. He retreated to Parileyyaka Forest where he sheltered under a tree. He was joined by an elephant who had been separated from his herd and was seeking solitude. The elephant brought water to the Buddha. Later, the Buddha was also visited by a monkey who offered honey. So heartbroken were the two creatures after the Buddha’s departure that they both died and were reborn in Tavatimsa Heaven, also home to the Buddha’s mother.

    Shakyamuni is shown here seated, with hands in his lap, one palm facing upwards, and dressed in finely decorated robes. The entire scene is embellished with gold leaf, and the setting of the forest is represented by a single tree with delicate, individually crafted leaves. The elephant and monkey kneel before the Buddha, with offerings of a water pot and honeycomb. The small size of the animals in relation to Shakyamuni reinforces the greatness of the Buddha and the humility of the devoted animals.


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
    From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008

  • The historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, is shown here seated with hands in his lap, one palm facing upwards, and dressed in finely decorated robes. The sculpture represents one of the eight great events of the Buddha’s earthly life. During a rainy season retreat, when a quarrel broke out between his followers, the Buddha left the monks to resolve the matter among themselves. He retreated to Parileyyaka Forest where he sheltered under a tree. There he was joined by an elephant who had been separated from his herd and was seeking solitude. The elephant brought water to the Buddha and later the Buddha was also visited by a monkey who offered honey. So heartbroken were the two creatures after the Buddha’s departure that they both died and were reborn in Tavatimsa Heaven, which is also home to the Buddha’s mother.

    The entire scene is embellished with gold leaf, and the setting of the forest is represented by a single tree with delicate, individually crafted leaves. The elephant and monkey kneel before the Buddha, with their offerings of a water pot and honeycomb. The scale of the animals in relation to Shakyamuni reinforces the greatness of the Buddha and the humility of the devoted animals.


    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
    From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014