Yesterday I got a chance to do the 9 temples tour around Bangkok. In Thailand, it had been believed that visiting 9 temples brings you bless and luck. By peeping around those temples, including visiting the national museum of art, It reminded me about the concise way to distinguish the art from different period. Regarding to two old capital of Thailand, Sukhothai and Ayudhya, most of the buddha sculpture and the temple architecture in Central Thailand could be devided into 2 main class which are Sukhothai art and Ayudhya art. (The Northern and Southern should be consider separately from the central since the culture in those area had been influenced from different tribes)
First, the Sukhothai art, as Sukhothai was the early Kingdom of Thailand active in 1238-1438, the cultured was mixed of Indian, Khmer, Burmese and Srivijaya. The Buddha Sculptures crafted in this period depict the impact of Srilanka and Indian art, which focus on the beauty of curve, symmetry and elegancy. The important characteristic of Sukhothai Buddha sculpture is that the body is tall, egg shape face, round eyebrows and curled hair.
Ayudhya was a second capital of Thailand, which being known as Siamese Kingdom during that period. Its long existence in 1350-1767 made it rich in culture and tradition. Ayudhya art can be divided into 3 sub era. The early Ayudhaya was not significantly different from Sukhothai, however some of the slight different could be distinguish from Buddha sculptures such as the face are more rectangular and the eyebrows are more solid. During the final Ayudhaya period, Buddha sculpture became more luxurious and nourished in details. Even though the sculpture look not so different, the architect of Ayudhya style temple is quite disparate. Since Ayudhya is a port town connecting Southeast Asia to the world, it interacts with many of foreign communities such as Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Persian, Portuguese, Dutch and French. The Architecture in final period of Ayudhya adopted some of the western architecture such as stained glass and curve arch.