In the 13th cent. the Thai peoples began to amass their considerable power in western Southeast Asia and by the 15th cent. were the dominant force. Siamese bronze sculpture of Buddhist figures in the 14th and 15th cent. showed an interest in an exaggerated elongation of limbs, a serene countenance and an interest in the pose known as the "walking Buddha." In the 16th cent. Buddhist figures adorned with jewels were widespread. Most extant Siamese paintings are of Buddhist subject matter and owe much to Chinese models, yet include a graceful linear quality and affection for brilliant color. The establishment of the capital at Bangkok and consequent increase in trade with the West brought other influences to bear on Thai art.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.