In late 2005, during a trip to Bangkok, we visited the Prasart Museum on the outskirts of the city. This continually expanding museum is the realization of Prasart Vongsakul. His lifelong love of Thai antiquities matched with his years of being a successful businessman allowed him to fulfill his dream. As he puts it so eloquently,
The Prasart Museum is the realization of my dream to house in one place prehistoric artefacts, Buddha images, statues of Brahman gods, pottery, Thai furniture, Thai paintings, and Thai and Chinese porcelains, as well as objects from other parts of Asia and elsewhere.
I took a number of photographs with my little Nikon Coolpix 4500. Photographs were not allowed inside some of the buildings. This photo of a Buddhist image was taken in the interior of the chapel. Every building on the property is a replication of some form of traditional Thai architecture. This chapel was built to replicate a Rattanakosin style viharn, or sermon hall. The viharn is the most popular building at a Buddhist Wat, open to everyone.
William Warren in The Prasart Museum – Treasures of Thailand, 1990 offers a description of this image as follows,
“This image, in the attitude of Subduing Mara, was probably made in the satellite city of Kamphaeng Phet at a time when the political power of Sukhothai had already succumbed to the rising force of Ayutthaya. This is a post-classic image and although the proportions of the body are still those of the golden period of Sukhothai art, the face is somehow less spiritual than those of the classic period. Other stylistic differences are the more elongated proportions of the flame and the equal length of the fingers.”