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Phra Malai (The Monk)

Accession Number
2005/1.453

Title
Phra Malai (The Monk)

Artist(s)
Thai

Object Creation Date
19th century - early 20th century

Medium & Support
gilt bronze

Dimensions
22 7/16 in. x 5 3/8 in. x 5 5/16 in. ( 57 cm x 13.7 cm x 13.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Doris Duke's Southeast Asian Art Collection

Subject matter
Monk with a begging bowl over his shoulder. This is Phra Malai whose story was immensely popular in the nineteenth century. He was a Buddhist monk who had achieved extraordinary powers through his accumulated merit and was able to visit numerous hells and heavens and then travel back to report on what he had seen. His accounts of heaven and hell offer vivid reminders of the inevitable results of one’s actions and his story was widely used as a preaching text at funerals.

Physical Description
Gilt bronze statue of monk with a begging bowl over his shoulder. This is Phra Malai, who achieved extraordinary powers through his accumulated merit and was able to visit numerous hells and heavens and then travel back to report on what he had seen. Phrai Malai has elongated ears and stands on a wooden base wearing a detailed robe.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
statue

Additional Object Classification(s)
Metalwork

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Buddhism
Thai (culture or style)
bronze (metal)
monks

3 Related Resources

Buddhism
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Heavens, Hells, and Afterlives
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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