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Towards a Definition of Isan Mural Painting: Focus on the Heartland

Photo credit: The Siam Society


Characteristics of Northeastern Thailand (Isan) mural painting are described for a subgroup of examples in the heartland of the region, located at three temples: Wat Matchima Withayaram (more commonly known as Ban Lan), Wat Sanuan Wari Phatthanaram, and Wat Sa Bua Kaew, all in Khon Kaen province. The stylistic consistencies in their murals as well as their unique traits are investigated. The combination of their characteristics exemplifies the creativity of “Isan heartland” mural painting early in the 20th century and the distinctiveness of the local Buddhist imagination.


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By:Bonnie Pacala Brereton


* This article was published in the Journal of Siam Society and is being shared on the Thailand Foundation Website with permission from The Siam Society.