painting / 繪畫
Avalokiteśvara seated on a lotus seat with the Good and Bad Boys. In the lower register are two rows of male, female and child donors, with central inscription and identifying catouches. Ink and colours on silk.
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.lvii.004 (from bundle Ch.lvii at 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: 99 centimetres
- Width: 59.5 centimetres
Inscription Positionin cartouches and central panel
Inscription Translation8th year of Taiping Xingguo (AD 983).
Inscription CommentDated AD 983 (sub-period).
Apart from its value as a dated work (Fig. 36), the painting is remarkable since it has suffered few changes from its original appearance. It has been backed with modern Japanese paper, and a stave and roller have been added, but it retains its original multi-coloured border, sewn on after the painting was completed and overlapping it for about a centimetre around the edges.
The colouring, the prominence of the donors and the arrangement of the aureole and nimbus all link this painting closely with the preceding one (Pl. 26). According to the cartouche in the upper left corner and judging by the “parent” figure of Amitabha in the headdress, the central figure is Avalokitesvara. This ever-popular Bodhisattva has here, however, assumed some features more properly associated with Ksitigarbha, who, as we have seen (Pls. 22-24), enjoyed considerable popularity in the tenth century. Thus in his left hand Avalokitesvara is holding the cintamani, while on either side he is accompanied by standing figures of the Good and Bad Boys, each holding a large scroll. These are the spirits who keep records and at regular intervals ascend to make reports that will be used after death when the soul appears before the Ten Kings for judge-ment of its actions during life, and a decision on the sphere in which it will be reborn.此畫除了是有紀年的作品外，有幾處改變很值得注意。用新的日本紙做裏子，加了新的竹竿和卷軸，使用的各種色布的邊仍以原來的樣子保存下來，畫的四邊各縫進1釐米。
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.lvii.004 (Stein no.)
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Object reference number: RFC663
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