painting / 繪畫
This painting shows the six-armed Cintamanicakra Avalokiteśvara. The arms represent his powers to save in different ways. He is identified by the cakra (wheel) and cintamani (flaming jewel) which he holds. A small figure of Amitābha Buddha is in his triangular crown. He is seated on a lotus with accompanying figures: two small bodhisattva figures in the upper corners, and two other small figures, now faded, in the lower corners. Ink and colours on silk.
- 851-900 (circa)
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.xxvi.001 (from Cave 17 at Ch’ien Fo Tung (pinyin: Qian Fo Dong))
- (Asia,China,Gansu (province),Dunhuang,Qian Fo Dong (Caves of the Thousand Buddhas))
- Excavated/Findspot: 千佛洞
- Height: 111 centimetres
- Width: 74.5 centimetres
The six-armed figure of Cintamanicakra dominates the painting by its large size. At the sides there is only room for a scrolling lotus stem rising to support two small Bodhisattva figures in the upper corners (Figs. 1, 2). Two equally small figures (Figs. 3, 4) in the lower corners kneel and gaze upwards, offering flowers, but they are very hard to make out clearly, and the space between them is almost entirely destroyed.
Despite this damage and the loss of pigments such as the golden yellow of the Bodhisattva’s body, the painting still retains an impressive coherence. The main figure is almost entirely contained within a large white aura, bordered with lotus flowers. The nimbus has a double-peaked wave pattern, and the aureole features white triangular points over rows of multi-coloured petals; both share a tight yellow “flame” border, Most of these features are found again in a larger painting of Cintamanicakra that is at present too fragmentary to reproduce in colour (Vol.1, Fig. 68). There, however, despite the larger size of the whole painting, the central figure is in fact smaller and more space is given to the eight smaller Bodhisattvas and the four guardian kings.六臂如意輪觀音非常大地被描繪在整個畫面上，僅在兩旁留下的空白處有蜿蜒豎立的蓮花莖，支撐著畫面兩个上角的小菩薩像（參照Figs.1、2）。畫面的兩個下角跪著同樣的小像（參照Figs.3、4），手捧著花仰望上方，由於褪色和變色，很難辨清。兩者中間的絹也大面積缺損。
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.xxvi.001 (Stein no.)
Front This painting shows the six-armed Cintamanicakra Avalokitesvara. The arms represent his powers to save in different ways. He is identified by the cakra (wheel) and cintamani (flaming jewel) which he holds. A small figure of Amitabha Buddha is in his triangular crown. He is seated on a lotus with accompanying figures: two small bodhisattva figures in the upper corners, and two other small figures, now faded, in the lower corners. Ink and colours on silk.
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Object reference number: RFC610
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