Thai Temple Murals – A Unique Art Form

Part sacred instruction, part social chronicle, Thai temple mural paintings offers insight into the culture, humor & sensibilities of the Siamese.

In his 2 volume collection, Thai Mural Paintings, (White Lotus Press, 2009), German Scholar Gerhard Jaiser accomplished a voluminous task: to chronicle the sacred and secular iconography that is intrinsic to the Thai wat (temple).

But before you bounce from this post, don’t worry … I’m not going to bore you with scholarship. In fact, instead of geeking out with a review of this 2-part tome, I thought I’d just share (below) a small number of the many images that were included in the CD that accompanied Volume II.

Psst: keep your eyes peeled for some of the more ribald shots 😉

Prince Siddartha Cuts his Hair

17th Century Ayutthaya

Toasted Eggs Anyone?


Don’t Poop in Public!

Impressive Member!

Classic Rattanakosin Style

Bong Hit!

How could I resist?

As you can see, even this (relatively) tiny sampling offers a huge spread of styles and themes – from Jataka tales of the Buddha’s previous lives, to the Hindu classic, Ramayana, to the life of prince Siddartha himself, and of course, the daily life of the people.

The books have an enormous number of color and B&W plates from the 17th-20th century. Interested in learning more? Write us here and let us know how deeply you’d like to dive!


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