The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Rare 18th-century Thai Buddhist manuscripts and Books go on display following restoration.
Life of the Buddha illustrated in miniature paintings.

DUBLIN.- The Chester Beatty has opened an exhibition of Thai Buddhist manuscripts dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. The world-renowned collection of beautifully illustrated books provides a rare opportunity to explore the Buddhist tales depicted within. Presented as colourful illustrations alongside sacred texts, some of the most popular Buddhist stories within the books are the birth tales of the Buddha and the legend of the monk Phra Malai.

Handsomely decorated folding books were used by monks as teaching aids and for chanting during religious ceremonies. Many were commissioned following the death of a relative and then donated to a temple. This earned religious merit for the donor as well as the deceased.

The Buddha had many past lives, but stories of his last ten are particularly important in Thai culture. Known as jatakas, or ‘birth tales’, these stories tell of the Buddha’s moral evolution over countless incarnations as he attained the ten perfections required for Buddhahood. Well-known scenes from these stories are featured in Thai folding books of the 18th and 19th centuries. They are presented as paired paintings, flanking the passages of sacred text.

The life of the historical Buddha was much less frequently depicted in Thai folding books, but the museum has several examples that show scenes from his life before and after he became the Buddha.

The legend of a monk named Phra Malai was one of the most popular subjects of 19th century Thai illustrated folding books. The pious monk Phra Malai visited heaven and hell using powers he earned through meditation and acts of merit. On his return to earth he reported what he had seen. The tale was often recited at wakes. Its detailed descriptions of hell and heaven served as powerful reminders that actions in this life determine one’s next life.

Illustrated folding books continued to be made in Thailand into the early twentieth century. However by the 1920s, the availability of inexpensive printing meant their production had almost completely come to an end. Introducing cherished stories and preserving the devotion of their makers and the communities who used them, these beautiful books offer a unique window onto Thai Buddhist heritage.

The exhibition is curated by Laura Muldowney, researcher of the museum’s East Asian collection.

Today's News

June 19, 2019

Palmer Museum opens intriguing exhibition on American lithography

Picasso leads in London: Monumental late work takes top billing as 20th Century Week total passes £59 million

Rare 18th-century Thai Buddhist manuscripts and Books go on display following restoration.

Lowry's Cricket Match sells for £1.2 million

London gallery chief quits after Israel spyware report

Gagosian opens an exhibition of works by Ed Ruscha and Louis Michel Eilshemius

Artist Robert Therrien passes away at the age of seventy-one

Door to legendary Berlin techno club gets museum digs

Tate Liverpool opens first UK Keith Haring show

Huntington acquires works by several African American artists, early abstract oils, and a Tiffany chair

Exhibition explores personal visions of reality in 20th and 21st-Century America

Christie's announces the sale of the collection: Paul Destribats, Bibliothèque des avant-gardes

Opening date announced for Aberdeen Art Gallery

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, announces new appointments and curatorial promotions

New York art collector Lio Malca presents a large-scale exhibition by Kenny Scharf

photo basel 2019: Show report

'Moon Rock Hunter' on quest to track down Apollo gifts

Guild Hall welcomes Kristin Eberstadt as Director of Philanthropy

UAE gift helps French palace reopen 'forgotten theatre'

The World Illustration Awards 2019 category winners announced

Exhibition brings together works created by Robert Mapplethorpe in New York City between 1978 and 1984

Exhibition at Jeu de Paume offers a sweeping overview of Sally Mann's career

A royal family Rolex watch Sells for over $300,000

Flower Power at the PalaisPopulaire

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful