Height: 79.500 cm
Width: 25.500 cm
Gift of Sir Marc Aurel Stein
Asia OA 1919,1-1,0.132
Vajrapani, ink and colours on silk
From Cave 17, Mogao, near Dunhuang, Gansu
Tang dynasty, late 9th century AD
Chinese calligraphic painting style in Dunhuang
This painting is an excellent example of the
calligraphic painting style that dominated the art of Dunhuang
during the Tang dynasty (AD 618-906). The figure of the
The black brushstrokes vary in thickness and end in sudden hooks, and the long, thick hair that falls over the shoulders is contrasted with the thin lines of the beard. The figure's clothing and scarves also fly in all directions.
This style for potraying guardians originated in Central China and had a far-reaching influence, also appearing in Japan.
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)