painting / 繪畫
Painting of a Thousand-armed, thousand-eyed Avalokiteśvara. A number of the hands hold tridents and other Buddhist symbols, while many of the hands have an eye. The image of Avalokiteśvara nearly fills the picture space, leaving room only for small figures in the four corners: two bodhisattvas at the top, and two donors on the bottom. The artist has exchanged the vehicles usually associated with the Sun and Moon: here Candraprabha (Bodhisattva of the Moon, in the white disc) rides horses, and Sūryaprabha (Bodhisattva of the Sun, red disc) rides geese. Ink and colours on silk.
- 701-850 (circa)
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.xxxiii.002 (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: 79.3 centimetres
- Width: 62 centimetres
As in the preceding plate, the central figure almost entirely fills the picture space, leaving room only for the Bodhisattvas of the Sun (Pl. 6-3) and of the Moon (Pl. 6-2) above, and the two unidentified donors below. The compression necessary to bring the canopy and the lotus pool within the picture has already been noted by Stein(Serindia, vol. Ⅱ, p.1037).
The arrangement of the Bodhisattvas of the Sun and Moon are a mirror-reversal of their positions in the very large painting of this subject (Vol. 1, Pl.18). In both cases it seems clear from the colour scheme that the artist intended them to appear on the same side as the sun and moon discs held as attributes by two of the forty principal hands. But in both paintings their vehicles have been exchanged: the Bodhisattva within the white disc (Pl.6-3) rides on the horses (properly belonging to Surya and the sun), while the Bodhisattva within the red disc rides on the geese (properly belonging to Candra) (Pl. 6-2). The painting on hemp (Fig. 55) shows the two Bodhisattvas on their correct vehicles and on the correct side with respect to the sun and moon discs held as attributes by the principal hands of the main deity.
Throughout the painting, but especially in the central figure, the final outlining is of a very precise character, matched by the clarity of the blue and red colours in particular. The halo is bordered by a closely set band of cloud scrolls in blue, and blue features prominently in the hair and scarves of the Bodhisattva as well as in the attributes held in his forty hands. The slightly twisted scarf visible on the Bodhisattva’s right shoulder and here and there elsewhere was originally decorated with bright white opaque dots. These and the multi-coloured petals of the lotus, rising out of the pool on a swirling base of cloud, allow us to imagine the splendid colouring of the painting when it was first made.
As Stein observed, the costumes of the donors (Figs. 5, 6) may be compared with that in the Sakyamuni paradise (Vol. 1, Pl. 11), and thus supports, along with the colouring and careful execution, the early ninth century as the latest possible date for, this painting. Traces where the border was once sewn on can be seen, especially down the left edge, but the border itself has not survived.與上圖相同，除了上方兩角有日天（參照圖6－3）和月天（參照圖6－2），下方兩角各一不明身份供養人外，畫面幾乎被中尊佔據。正如斯坦因指出的，華蓋和蓮池只有經過壓縮才能放進畫面。
2016 – 2017, Germany, PROMISED
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.xxxiii.002 (Stein no.)
Front Painting of aThousand-armed, thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara. A number of the hands hold tridents and other Buddhist symbols, while many of the hands have an eye. The image of Avalokitesvara nearly fills the picture space, leaving room only for small figures in the four corners: two bodhisattvas at the top, and two donors on the bottom. Candra (Bodhisattva of the Moon) is riding geese (the correct vehicle), but is coloured as for the sun. Surya (Bodhisattva of the Moon) rides horses (correct association), but is coloured for the moon. Ink and colours on silk.
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Object reference number: RFC617
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