Crowned Buddha head
This representation of Śākyamuni Buddha depicted with crown and jewels is that of the “universal ruler” (cakravartin). Although the dominant Buddhist school in the Kingdom of Ayutthayā is Theravada, the strictest and most sober school meaning “School of the Elders”, this iconography nevertheless imposes itself as in the other schools of Buddhism. It even becomes emblematic of the period of Ayutthayā, during which it was expanding rapidly, both for conceptual and pietist reasons and for its extremely decorative aspect.
The face perpetuates, yet modifies, the Sukhothai style by making it softer. The nose, for instance, is less prominent, the mouth more smiling and the lips fuller. The hair is braided into a high topknot – now missing – at the top of the head, behind a crown of intricate floral design on either side of small cabochons inlaid with mother-of-pearl.