18th century, late Ava period (Ava period 1364-1752)
Alabaster with traces of black lacquer
H90 x W55 cm
The stylistic qualities of this seated Buddha exemplify those that evolved during the Ava period. The face is oval to square. Large curving ears touch the shoulders. Sweeping bowlike brows, set high on the forehead above half-closed eyes. The nose finishes in well-defined nostrils above a small, thin lipped and smiling mouth. A narrow incised band separates the forehead from the hair, formerly completely covered with lacquer. The conical usnisha is ascending to a lotus bud finial (added more recently). The Buddha is seated in Padmasana (the two feet are visible) with his right hand lowered in bhumisparsa mudra (calling the earth to witness for his enlightenment) and the left resting in his lap. The fingers are of equal length. The clothing has been emphasized by incised swirling lines and abundant decoration. The diaphanous fabric of his robe is falling in concentric rings on his legs.
The Kingdom of 2nd/3th Ava period is named after the capital city, Ava, that the people of Myanmar conquered in the late 16th century and that used to be the capital of the Tai Yai (Shan kingdom) before.
Therefore the art style produced during this period is a mixture of the earlier Myanmar style (Pagan, Toungo) and the Shan style.
For a complete Buddha in similar style, see in the Victoria and Albert Museum, see cat.no 9 in J.Lowry, 1974.