Elephant Gallery

All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Southeast Asian : Paintings : Pre 1800 item #1299710 (stock #0001)
Elephant Gallery Pte Ltd.
Prah Malai An Illustrated Chanting Book from Eighteen Century Siam . End of the Ayuttaya Period ” Khoi paper manuscript ” with illustrations accompanying text. The historical role of this type of ” concertina ” – like folding-book , called ” samut Khoi ” in Thai which is typically made from mulberry paper in Pali Khom script , the aesthetic and content of the samut Khoi are not solely pictorial and the text has been an important didactic tool of the Buddhist faith in Southeast Asia . The artwork complements , the written text and the folding-book would have been chanted , most likely in the course of a communal reading . As a result , this type of manuscript has a more important societal and religious role as a repository of Buddhist teaching in illustrating the adventures of Prah Malai . Phra Malai was the more important Buddhist priest of the southeast Asia , and the illustrations with text describes your life and miracles . The life story of this manuscript is traced on the cover legends writings with the date of presentation to a catholic Protestant priest in Singapore on the year 1836 and other later from the bibliotheque of the Historical and geographical Society in Boston USA . The oldest existing Siamese folding paper Buddhist manuscript dates to the start of the 16 century . the development of the Concertine books evolving from a simple palm-leaf manuscript to the “samut -Khoi ” folding book . So the Phra Malai book it would have been produced in the 18 th .century as is indicated in the cover date 1836 ( is presented in Singapore ) . Further consideration is then given to a number of factors that could exist in identifying a date of manufacture : the declining monastic situation in Sri Lanka .The manuscript was actually found in Kandy , in the mid-18th century ; changes in style to Thai Samut-Khoi manuscripts in the newly established Bangkok period after 1782 , the manuscripts exceptional artwork , and the rise of the mid-18th century color palette that is much subtler than the heavier richer colors found in the 19th century Thai Manuscripts . Since these considerations the Prah Malai manuscript is a very rare and important surviving document , both for the artistic and linguistic values and also for the high quality of the depicting scenes , with a splendid use of tonality and light color in relation with de devotional and educational proposition .