Rain Buddha, Laos, 19th century

Rain Buddha, Laos, 19th century, height 45 cm.

Buddha statues from Laos are known for their delicacy and refinement. This elegant ancient Buddha is depicted in the ‘Calling for Rain’ mudra found only in Laos, as he gazes down in half-closed meditation. His narrow hips, elegant gestures and slender hands enhance the graceful curves of the body and the gentleness of the Buddha. He wears a three-piece monk’s robe that textually extends to just above his ankles. The combination of curvature and proportions with an oversized head indicates the perfection, wisdom and compassion of the ‘Enlightened One’. Laotian images as old and elegant as this are rare.