Information about the Toungoo period / Toungoo Buddha statues from Burma

Toungoo period: 1347 - 1596

Toungoo Buddha statue

The Toungoo period is considered the golden age of Burma since the Toungoo Kingdom overpowered and absorbed almost all kingdoms in the whole region. The art of this period has been largely ignored since it followed the defeat of the Pagan Kingdom by the Chinese and the Tai Yai (Shan) and Burma was struggling to regain its independence. The Burmese art of that time mixed with Mon art and Tai Yai(Shan) art when when King Tabeng Shwe Hti relocated his capital to the old Mon capital of Hansavadi. Then the influence of the Post Pala-Sena art of India, which has been a part of Burmese art for so long started to wane. Hansavadi was the capital of the Toungoo Dynasty for 50 years and during that period the art was considered as being a part of the Toungoo art period.

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Buddha statues from the Toungoo period

The faces of Buddha images / Buddha statues from this period became rounder with a more meditative look whilst the body became more muscular and tended to look plump. The size of the top of the head was increased and moved forward to the middle-top of the head. In the beginning of this period the halo was shaped like a lotus petal but this was later changed to the shape of a budding lotus flower and was moved forward as a crown over the Pra Ghetmala, portraying the Tai Yai (Shan) influence. The right hand was on the ground touching mudra (Bhumisparsha) with its fingers instead of touching the ground as in the past now seeming to be shorter and placed on the shin. The base of the image was shaped in the Burmese style, with thick layers of lotus petals. It should be clear from this that Toungoo art was very important to the development of art in Burma.

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