In the past, Thai Painting was created in order to decorate Buddhis architecture, such as walls of ubosot (Buddhist Ordination Hall) and vihara, and to decorate Buddhist appliaces, including some books, such as the image of "Phra Bot" (Buddhist Banner) and the illustrated manuscripts of "Tri Bhumi" (Buddhist Cosmology), which were recognized as Buddhist offerings. They were used to explain the essence of Buddha's teaching and the story of Loard Buddha's life. Buddhist painting could draw attention. Consequently, belive and faith in Buddhism occurred. The paintings also reflected custom, tradition, lifestyle of Thai societies in each period. They expressed painters' concepts of beauty, art esthetics, artistic tastes, talent, and painting techniques.
From the two-dimesional mural painting, monochrome and tempera in Sukhothai Period (14th Century), polchrome, fresco, golden leaf painting and "Sen Sin Thao" (zigzag design) to divide each moral scene were added during Ayutthaya Period (15th - 18th Century). In early Rattanakosin Period, natural scenes used as a division between two different scenes and bird's-eye view were initiated.
In the late 19th Century, Thai traditional paintings were influenced by Western art. The Western concept was based on the interdisciplinay of vision science (realistic virtualization). Khrua-In-Khong was a leading painter of the era. In the 20th century, Prince Narisara Nuvativongse applied Anatomical science on painting human figures. It made human figures became more realistic, but still remained Thai conventional contents. His style strongly influenced Thai painters in the late periods.
Nowadays, there are both Thai traditional painting and created painting, which is the combination of styles and techniques between Thai and Western art. Some distinctive paintings, for example, are the moral painting on the inner wall of Phra Buddha Rattanastan Ubosot at the Grand Palace and the illustration of "Phra Mahachanok", the literary work of King Bhumipol Adulyadej.