Mandalay Sculpture  

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Mandalay Sculpture

Introduction

Of the several styles of sculpture that were produced during the Konbaung Period, the Mandalay style became dominant and has persisted until the present day.

During the Konbaung Period there is a marked preference for stone and wood, although Mandalay style images were also made in metal. The most favored image in the Mandalay style is a seated Buddha in the position of calling the earth to witness, of which thousands were created. There was also a renewed interest in standing images, many of which are shown holding in their right hand a myrobalan fruit, a symbol for spiritual and physical healing. The left hand of these standing images often grasps the edge of the outer robe to hold it open. In other standing images, both hands are used to hold the outer robe open. Images of the reclining Buddha depicting the Parinirvana, also appear but in much fewer numbers than the other two body positions.

Images in the Mandalay style have full, fleshy bodies with some slight difference in the length of the fingers and toes. The head is a broad oval in which the features arranged horizontally. A wide band, often inlaid with faux gems, borders the forehead and resembles a jeweled tiara. Small black curls cover a full usnisha that rarely terminates in a finial. The mark on the forehead, the urna, may have the spiral form of an "om" symbol. The eye brows are lower and more naturalistic, the mouth broader and more naturally smiling than those of Ava Period images. The ears are long, curve slightly and may touch the shoulders. The contours of the body are almost completely lost under heavy robes that are deeply undercut and have undulating hems inset with ornate bands of faux gems.

This entry was posted on Jan 8, 2009 at Thursday, January 08, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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