Petchburi's artistic fame is chiefly due to the murals in Wat Yai Suwannaram and
Wat Ko Keo Sutharam. Thai murals typically date from the fall of Ayuthaya in
1767 until royal patronage ended about 1910. Ayuthaya Period murals were almost
completely destroyed by the Burmese after the destruction of the capital; only
Petchburi murals survive to illustrate early Thai painting.
Some of the best are in the small hot of Wat Yai Suwannaram. Gracing the
interior of the lat eral walls and separated by distinct red trian gles are
rows of 17th-century worshipping divinities that represent Indra, Brahma, and
lesser divinities such as devas and yaksas. Those on the lower registers are
chipping and desperately need attention, although the interior door murals are
still in good condition. Despite the deterioration, these murals provide
fascinating illustrations of naturalistic decorative art and in sight into the
flora and fauna of 17th-century Thailand.
The adjacent wooden sala, supported by wooden pillars, is one of Thailand's few
surviving examples of this genre. Also note the nearby haw trai, a Buddhist
scriptural library filled with copies of the Tripitaka.