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Sukhothai Art From Lower North Thailand

  • Sukhothai art refers to the art and style of the Sukhothai (translated as the dawn of happiness) Empire period. Sculpture (bronze, stucco and stone) was inspired by Theravada Buddhism which created a new style in which spiritual serenity is merged with human form and reflected in the numerous images of the Buddha. Sculptors did not base their images on strict human form but on interpretations of metaphors from religious verse and Pali language scriptures.
  • Accordingly the artists created images that were intended to reflect the compassionate and superhuman nature of the Buddha. During this period bronze images of Hindu gods were also caste. These Hindu gods are crowned and wear royal attire and were cult objects in royal court rituals performed by Brahmin priests. Excellent examples can be seen at the National Museum Bangkok.


Sukhothai Sculpture

  • Sculpture (bronze, stucco and stone) was inspired by Theravada Buddhism which created a new style in which spiritual serenity is merged with human form and reflected in the numerous images of the Buddha. Sculptors did not base their images on strict human form but on interpretations of metaphors from religious verse and Pali language scriptures.


Where to find the Better Examples of Sukhothai Art & Architecture

  • The brick and stucco images of the Buddha remain with the ruins of the temples (Wats) where they were made. These are at Sukhothai and its satelite centres.

The best examples are:

The Bronze Hindu gods are best seen at:

  • The Phra Buddha Jinnarat at Phitsanulok (15th century) is a most venerated image in a Wat worthy of a visit for its architecture and art.


The following major Sukhothai art works have been moved to Bangkok

  • The bronze Buddha Sri Sakyamuni (8 metres tall) at Wat Suthat, Bangkok
  • The walking bronze Buddha at Wat Benjamabopit, Bangkok
  • The reclining Buddha at Wat Bovornivet, Bangkok
  • The numerous works at National Museum Bangkok (the best selection)


Sukhothai Ceramics '' Sangkhalok Ware''

  • In addition, Sukhothai was famous for ceramics (''Sangkhalok ware''). There were two forms, the monochromes in brown and white and the celadon and painted wares. The later have dark brown or black designs and have a clear glaze. During the 15th to 16th centuries these were popular in South East Asia and exported to Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere.