painting / 繪畫
Fragmentary painting of standing figure. While the figure has some features typical of bodhisattva images (three-quarter view, hand gesture), this appears to be a Christian saint, possibly Nestorian. He has a halo, wears a cross in his headdress and one on his necklace, and a staff in his left hand. Ink and colours on silk.
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.xlix.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: 88 centimetres
- Width: 55 centimetres
This figure is of great interest since although it is depicted in three-quarter view in very much the same way as some of the paintings of Buddhist Bodhisattvas, even to the gesture of the right hand, this appears to a Christian, perhaps a Nestorian, saint (see also Fig.76). A cross, each arm terminating in bead-like extensions, appears both in the headdress of the figure and hanging form the necklace he is wearing. In his left hand he holds a long staff. He wears a red stole with a yellow lining, over a robe which has faded to a greenish colour very similar to that of the background silk.
Two minor features suggest that this painting dates from the end of the ninth century: the narrow flame border of the halo and the configuration of the mouth, which has a slight downward return to the ends of the ink line between the lips. Further confirmation of a possible Christian identification of the figure appears on close examination of the face, as there is a fairly thick moustache and a slight beard, both in red and quite different from the curling moustaches, generally in green, of Bodhisattvas such as Pl.13.此像如菩薩像中所常見的那樣，為四分之三身像，右手的姿势也很相似，但表現的是基督教，或許是景教的聖者（參見Fig.76）。冠飾和項鏈都有邊緣為水滴狀的十字架。聖者左手持長杖,身披黃色襯裏的紅色披肩，其下著綠色衣服，但已褪色，與背景顔色相近。
2007 8 Feb-5 Aug, BM Gallery 91, 'Gods, Guardians and Immortals: Chinese Religious Paintings'
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.xlix.001 (Stein no.)
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Object reference number: RFC656
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