Height: 94.000 cm
Width: 27.000 cm
Gift of Sir Marc Aurel Stein
Asia OA 1919,1-1,0.154
Avalokiteshvara, ink and colours on a hemp cloth banner
From Cave 17, Mogao, near Dunhuang, Gansu
Five Dynsties, early 10th century AD
A simpler religious image for the less wealthy worshipper
Hemp, coarser than silk, was cheaper and it is thus likely that these lower quality banners were commissioned or purchased by less wealthy donors. As is typical of the hemp cloth banners, the main figure is executed with simple ink lines and no additional colouring.
format of the banner is the same as that of the more elaborate
paintings, with a triangular top and blue streamers at the bottom.
The side streamers are now lost. Avalokiteshvara, the popular
Bird droppings on the surface of the banner indicate that it may have been hung for a considerable time.
R. Whitfield, Art of Central Asia: The Ste-1, vol. 2 (Tokyo, Kodansha International Ltd., 1982-85)