Thai Mural Painting In Thailand


Mural at Wat Phrao Kaeo Bangkok


  • Not only do the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs influence the architecture and decorative art of a temple complex but so to the elaborate paintings on the internal walls of the complex. In Thailand the manuscripts and scriptures of Theravada Buddhists were in Pali [ an Indian language ] which could only be understood by the educated elite. 
  • The purpose of the Thai mural is to expand the scope of the audiences, ensure easy recognition of events and facilitate the understanding of history and moral lessons. Therefore the more frequent subject matter in Thai murals are depictions from the life of Buddha and stories from the Jakata Tales. Also depicted are Buddhist concepts of cosmology dealing with the universe, the nature of time and the concept of rebirths into progressively higher spiritual planes of that Universe.
  • In earlier times in Thailand, manuscripts were also illustrated in the emerging Thai style. In murals the artists followed certain traditions and form to assist the generally uneducated audience to appreciate and recognize certain events or beings.
  • The western concept of originality did not exist and whilst there was no self expression in design and concept some variations in style are evident. However for the most part we see through out Thailand familiar  celestial beings, stylized imaginary creatures, some part human and part animal or bird, all inhabitants of the idyllic Himaphan Forest, the mythical region of the Universe associated with the Himalayas.
  • The best place in Thailand to see the most extensive and best quality murals is at Wat Phrao Kaeo beside the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The pictures here are from that selection.



Mural at Wat Phrao Kaeo Bangkok