The majestic elephant, universally known, played a crucial role in the history of the Thai kingdom (formerly known as Siam) in helping protect the motherland. Several kings of Siam in the past rode on elephants to fight against enemies.
Due to the importance of this animal, the artist of this high-relief painting has tried to originate the idea of forming the monkeys into an elephant. As such, he came up with a troupe of the monkey soldiers from the great story which is briefly explained below.
The most famous of all Kings, is the mythological hero Prince Rama, who, with his great General, the monkey-god Hanuman and their magic monkey soldiers, set-off on a great journey to rescue Rama’s wife, the Princess Sita, who had been kidnapped by the evil giant, the demon king Totsagan.
This story is immortalized in The Ramakien which is the Thai version of the most important myth of Southeast Asia - a myth that appears in varying forms in India, where it originated and is known as the Ramayana and in Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar (Burma), in fact wherever the sphere of Indian civilization extended.
It is a story that closely parallels Western myths, such as those of The Illiad or The Arthurian Legend, as it recounts the struggle between the forces of good and evil, personified in the divine, Pra Rama and the King of the Demons, Totsagan.
The story is told and known all over Asia and has been translated into many languages, including English by the British-born J.M. Cadet.
This charming painting just depicts the artist’s imagination. He uses real gold leaf and water colors in this high-relief painting and it is executed on handmade mulberry paper and mounted in a wooden frame.
This type of painting originates from the artist who lives in the Northern part of Thailand where there is an abundant supply of mulberry paper. And this artist’s father was one among the very few qualified artisans to help renovate the mural paintings of the temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Pra Kaeo) over a hundred years ago.
You can change the frame and mount of this hard to find kind of painting to suit with your own liking.