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Head of a hermit
Place of Origin: Thailand, Wat Phra Chettuphon, Bangkok
Date: 1836
Materials: Zinc tin alloy with traces of color
Style or Ware: Bangkok
Dimensions: H. 10 1/2 in x W. 5 1/2 in x D. 6 in, H. 26.7 cm x W. 14 cm x D. 15.2 cm
Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: B60S12
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Performing good works for the benefit of his people was a timehonored duty of a Siamese king. The king reigning in the 1830s decided that traditional lore concerned with healing must be preserved and made available to all. He commissioned for one of the most important temples in Bangkok both inscribed plaques recording such information and a series of sculptures of contorted hermits with medical conditions, to be used as teaching tools.

In Thai art, hermits (rishis) can usually be recognized by their odd headdresses, the upper part of which narrows and then flares out again as it rises. This sort of headdress is supposed to represent a piece of tigerskin wrapped into a head covering.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Label:

Performing good works for the benefit of his people was a timehonored duty of a Siamese king. The king reigning in the 1830s decided that traditional lore concerned with healing must be preserved and made available to all. He commissioned for one of the most important temples in Bangkok both inscribed plaques recording such information and a series of sculptures of contorted hermits with medical conditions, to be used as teaching tools.

In Thai art, hermits (rishis) can usually be recognized by their odd headdresses, the upper part of which narrows and then flares out again as it rises. This sort of headdress is supposed to represent a piece of tigerskin wrapped into a head covering.


Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010