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Thai Rattanakosin Style Art

  • Thai Rattanakosin art (or Bangkok style) refers to the style of art of the time of the Chakri Dynasty founded in Bangkok after the collapse of Ayutthaya in 1767. The period reflects two themes, that of promotion of the classical Siamese traditions under the reigns of three Kings, Rama 's I,II, and III and the subsequent period from Rama IV until today when modern western elements were incorporated into art styles.
  • In the early Bangkok period numerous works of sculpture were brought to Bangkok from war torn areas and little new works were created. It was about salvaging the past.
  • Works created later were ornate and the simplicity of the earlier period gave way to ornamentation and some suggest, a loss of spirituality in the images.

Garuda On Roof Of Grand Palace Bangkok

  • In the second period the images became more realistic and human in a general retreat at the time for historical accuracy. This is reflected in more human body form, hairstyle and type, and pleated toga style robes. The period is rich in mural paintings.
  • Following the creation of Bangkok the ornamentation of temples flourished. Painting of religious scenes was regarded as an act of merit but also served the function of educating moral lessons through graphic illustrations of the life of Buddha, from the Jataka Tales, the Buddha's Former Lives. 
  • The murals in Thai art have a total lack of perspective in the western sense. To enable devotees to recognize scenes or people of significance certain conventions are constant, such as the use of color, giving Buddha gold skin and red robes.
  • The images merge the real with mythical beings, the known world with beings from celestial regions, allegories for states of being attained through meritorious rebirth and spiritual excellence, reflecting the traditions of Buddhist and Hindu cosmology.

The Best Places To See Rattanakosin Art Are;

  • Wat Phrao Kaeo (Emerald Buddha), Bangkok
  • National Museum, Bangkok
  • Wat Yai Intharam, Chonburi
  • Wat Suwannasram, Thonburi, Bangkok
  • Wat Bang Yikhan, Thonburi, Bangkok
  • Buddhaisawan Chapel, Bangkok
  • Wat Rajasittaram, Thomburi, Bangkok