U Thong art flourished in Central Thailand between the 12-15th century A.D. in the period when Khmer influence was diminishing or disappearing and before and during the early stages of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. As such U Thong style was influenced by previous and contemporary styles in the region.
Depending on prevailing influences and the time frame, U Thong Buddha images are often subdivided into three groups.
Typical of U Thong Buddha images is a small band between the hairline and the forehead. The head features small curls. The face of the Buddha image is rather square with Mon and Khmer characteristics. During the early period the ushnisha (prominent bump on the top of Buddha's head) is topped by a lotus bud. In later period (Sukhothai influence), this is replaced by an elongated flame. The face became more oval later on, and the body more elongate under the influence of the Sukhothai style.
The eyes are cast (not inlaid as often the case with images of the Ayutthaya period).
The robe is draped in the open mode with a long flap over the left shoulder (see image below) ending above the navel.
U Thong style Buddha images mostly display the gesture of Subduing Mara in the sitting position, and the gesture of Dispelling Fear (Abhaya Mudra) in the standing position.
Characteristics and Postures of the Buddha
Seven Days of the Buddha
Hand Gestures :
The Six Main Mudras
Historical Periods :
Chiang Saen - Lanna
Historical Notes :
Temples in Thailand :
Buddha Images at :
Buddha Images at Wat Phra Pathom Chedi
Introduction to Buddhism in Thailand
The 10 Jatakas (lives of the Buddha) as depicted in Thai mural Temple paintings
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Content by Guido Vanhaleweyk, Bangkok.