Ava period: 1618 - 1789
Ava (also known as Innwa or Ratanapura - City of Gems), situated just to the south of Amarapura on the Ayeyarwady River and located about 15 km south of Mandalay, was founded by King Thado Minpya in 1364 A.D., the youngest king at the age of 19 years ever to build a capital. At first the city was timber-walled and a year later it was brick-walled. The first Ava period with a line of 20 kings spanned 233 years, and the second Ava period with ten kings lasted over 150 years making Ava the uninterrupted longest serving capital in history. It was also briefly made capital twice in the last 19th century Konbaung dynasty when it was exposed and vulnerable to the encroachment of Western colonial expansion. In 1597 A.D., King Nyaungyan made Ava a capital for the second time, and a new golden palace was again built by his younger son King Thar-lun, the donor of the huge bulbous pagoda Kaungmudaw near Sagaing. In 1752, Ava was invaded and destroyed by Mon from the South. This old capital is now not more than a small town or a large village.
Buddha statues from the Ava period
Buddha images from the Ava period are recognizable by the large forehead. The face was oval shaped with a pointed chin. The eyebrows were curved like human eyebrows. The eyes glazed downwards in the stat of meditation, the bridge of the nose was straight and low. The lips were small and little pointed forward with a clear cleft above the upper lip. The torso was well-built similar to the Toungoo style.
The Buddha wore a plain flap across the left shoulder with the robe draped over the shoulder. In the Ava Art period, various kinds of material were used to create Buddha images mostly depending on were the artisans that created them were living.
Buddha images fashioned in sandstone were very rare.
Discover more about
The image and its history
Art, Architecture and Design of Burma
Burmese Buddhist Sculpture
The Johan Möger Collection