Height: 81.500 cm
Width: 26.300 cm
Gift of Sir Marc Aurel Stein
Asia OA 1919,1-1,0.139
Bodhisattva with a glass bowl, ink and colours on a silk banner
From Cave 17, Mogao, near Dunhuang, Gansu
Tang dynasty, late 9th century AD
This is one of the most beautifully executed
banners from Mogao in the British Museum. The well-balanced figure
The body is outlined in an even black line, with a light red paint wash used to indicate the inside of the palms and earlobes, folds of the neck and to pick out the eyes.
The glass bowl resembles actual examples from Iran. We know that Sasanian glass was very popular during the Tang dynasty (AD 618-906) in Buddhist temples such as the famous Famensi temple near Xi'an at one end of the Silk Road.
R. Whitfield, Art of Central Asia: The Ste-2, vol. 1 (Tokyo, Kodansha International Ltd., 1982-85)
R. Whitfield and A. Farrer, Caves of the thousand Buddhas: (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)