Asian art

Bagan Pagan Period Buddha Statues

Pagan art developed from that of the later Pyu and early Pagan periods through the following stages:

Early Pagan Buddha statues (1044-1112 A.D.)

Buddha statues from this period combine the more distinctive local style with the Pala style from India, introduced via the Mon and Arakanese Kingdoms.

Bagan Buddha Statues

This style included many significant elements in its Buddha statues, for instance the lotus-petal-shaped halo behind the head over the Pra Ghetmala (top of the head), the Buddha’s hair was depicted in the form of small cone-shaped curls and the face was oval to triangular with a slightly pointed chin. The eyes were wide and turned upwards like those of the Chinese phoenix, the bridge of the nose was high and slightly quiline and the lips were small, the lower lip being slightly thicker than the upper (this arrangement is often referred to as “Bird Beaked”). The upper earlobe was curved like the human ear but with small lines carved in the middle; the lower earlobe was elongated over the shoulders, as with other Buddhist Art. It was seated in the crossed-legged position and wore an outer monk’s robe, a Sanghati, wrapped around both shoulders.

Medieval Pagan Buddha statues (1112-1235 A.D.)

Buddhist Art from this period were more heavily influenced by the Pala style of India which had come to the region via the Mon and Arakanese Kingdoms. Though Thervada Buddhism (Hinayana Buddhism) was flourishing in the kingdom at this time, there were also many styles of image created that were still influenced by Mahayana Buddhism. Medieval Pagan Buddha images, therefore, bear many resemblances to both Mon art and Pala art and it is sometimes very difficult to identify the exact school of art from which they came. Although local craftsmen could imitate the style of the Pala images, they could not entirely copy the patterns of the side and lower parts of the monk’s robe but it is the gesture of the Buddha image and the material used to make it, that are the key elements in classifying the style of any particular artifact from this period. The colour of the material used would be less golden than that from India, the gesture and key elements of a Pagan Buddha image would follow the Mahayana pattern and most of them would be portrayed as one of the five Dhyani Buddhas. They would all have the Urna on the forehead and standing Buddhas would be wearing a monk’s outer robe, the Sanghati, wrapped around both shoulders whilst seated Buddhas would be clothed in either the Sanghati or a plain flab across the left shoulder, a style believed to have come from Sri Lankan art. The body of the Buddha would be tall and slender but not as tall as those from the  Early Pagan period.

Later Pagan and Post Pagan Buddha statues (1235-1347 A.D.)

Buddha statues from this period were generally better refined and before and could also be more easily identified from both an artistic and an iconological viewpoint. The face of the Buddha was more round, the body more muscular, the Pra Ghetmala (top of the head) was semi-circular with a circular Urna on the forehead. Most seated Buddha statues wore a plain flap across the left shoulder whilst most standing images wore the Sanghati wrapped around both shoulders. They were mainly made of bronze, heavy metal, sandstone or wood. Most images sited in pagodas, however, were made from brick sculpted in the ancient Poon-tum style (white plaster-like cememnt applied over brick surfaces). These were high relief sculptures which would be placed in a niche surmounted by a decorative archway (Sum Reun Kaew). This style was also commonly used for Buddha images in the Mon city of Martaban, and the Mon Haribhunchai Kingdom of northern Thailand.

Share this page

View our Buddha statues in our gallery

Antique marble Ava Buddha statue

Antique marble Ava Buddha statue

1475 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

2500 euro
Antique bronze Shan Buddha statue

Antique bronze Shan Buddha statue

6500 euro
Antique bronze Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique bronze Mandalay Buddha statue

2100 euro
Old teakwooden Burmese Buddha statue

Old teakwooden Burmese Buddha statue

275 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

2500 euro
Old Nepali Buddha statue

Old Nepali Buddha statue

250 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

1950 euro
Antique Nepali Tara statue

Antique Nepali Tara statue

250 euro
Antique marble Buddha statue

Antique marble Buddha statue

1950 euro
Antique Buddha statue from early Mandalay period

Antique Buddha statue from early Mandalay period

5500 euro
Antique Burmese Buddha statue

Antique Burmese Buddha statue

2650 euro
Antique Burmese Ava Buddha statue

Antique Burmese Ava Buddha statue

1950 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

1950 euro
Bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Bronze Nepali Buddha statue

175 euro
Antique bronze Japanese Buddha

Antique bronze Japanese Buddha

650 euro
Large antique wooden Buddha statue

Large antique wooden Buddha statue

3900 euro
Antique Nepali Gao - Buddha shrine

Antique Nepali Gao - Buddha shrine

150 euro
Antique marble Ava Buddha statue

Antique marble Ava Buddha statue

2350 euro
Antique bronze Mandalay Buddha

Antique bronze Mandalay Buddha

2100 euro
Old bronze Mandalay Buddha statue

Old bronze Mandalay Buddha statue

1200 euro
Antique marble Ava Buddha statue

Antique marble Ava Buddha statue

2450 euro
Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Mandalay Buddha

550 euro
Antique bronze Mon Buddha statue

Antique bronze Mon Buddha statue

3500 euro
Very high quality antique Mandalay Buddha

Very high quality antique Mandalay Buddha

3750 euro
Very special bronze Arakan Buddha statue

Very special bronze Arakan Buddha statue

9500 euro
Antique bronze Mandalay Buddha statue

Antique bronze Mandalay Buddha statue

1750 euro
18th century wooden Shan Buddha statue

18th century wooden Shan Buddha statue

950 euro
Antique wooden Shan Buddha statue

Antique wooden Shan Buddha statue

1200 euro
Antique marble Burma Buddha

Antique marble Burma Buddha

1100 euro
arrow-right keyboard_arrow_right arrow-down chevron-down keyboard_arrow_down chevron-up arrow-left keyboard_arrow_left close menu search twitter facebook youtube-play linkedin envelope instagram google-plus pinterest whatsapp heart-o Wishlist share file-pdf-o printer trash