painting / 繪畫
Painting fragments showing Śākyamuni Buddha accompanied by two bodhisattvas, the disciples Ānanda and Kasyapa, four lokapalas (guardian kings) and four more bodhisattvas offering flowers. The section below, with numerous small figures (some missing), illustrates scenes from the Fumu enzhong jing, an apocryphal sutra about the blessings received from parents. Lowest section, much of which is missing, including inscriptions, shows donor figures. Ink and colours on silk.
- 951-1000 (circa)
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.lii.004Ch.lxi.008 (from bundles Ch.lii and Ch.lxi 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: 134 centimetres
- Width: 102 centimetres
Inscription Positionin cartouches
Inscription TranslationTexts in illustratrative scenes from the Fumu enzhong jing. Inscriptions in the row of donor figures mostly destroyed. Not yet translated.
In the upper part of this painting (Pl. 28-2) is Sakyamuni, accompanied by two principal Bodhisattvas and the disciples Ananda and Kasyapa. Behind this main group are two of the Four Guardian Kings, while in front are four more Bodhisattvas with offerings of flowers. The next section of the painting identifies the whole, for it consists of scenes illustrating the Fumu enzhong jing, an apocryphal sutra popular at Dunhuang in the Five Dynasties and early Song. Eiichi Matsumoto has shown (1937, pp. 196-200) how the texts in the cartouches accompanying each scene correspond almost exactly to this text as preserved among the Stein manuscripts from Dunhuang. The mountains above the main Buddha group must therefore be Mt. Grdhrakuta 耆阇崛山, which features at the beginning of the sutra as its setting.
Because the sutra deals with the blessings received from one’s parents, the figures in these small scenes correspond precisely to donor figures of the period. On the right, a boy is shown receiving instruction from his father, and there is a baby in the arms of its mother (Pl. 28-3). The relevant text is that in the cartouche to the left of the scene: “Father and mother cherish and hold him making gentle sounds; he smiles but cannot vet speak. When he is hungry and needs to cat, were it not for his mother he would have no food; when he is thirsty and needs to drink, were it not for his mother he would not be given suck.” To the far left, the upper scene illustrates what happens when the son marries and has children of his own: absorbed in private pleasures, no one visits the parents in their old age and failing strength. The central scenes, on either side of a now missing altar, show Ananda, on a lotus seat, and opposite him a devout gentleman, both accompanied by monks, and below by male and female members of the household, all kneeling and with hands clasped. They illustrate the concluding passage of the sutra, originally inscribed on the pink cartouches, in which the Buddha tells Ananda how, by various acts of devotion such as burning incense, making sutras, or giving food and drink to monks, one may requite the blessings received from one’s parents.
Finally, below these scenes at the bottom of the painting and extensively damaged, some much larger figures are seen. Those nearest the centre and now almost completely destroyed are the deceased father and the mother of the donor, who is identified as a student. But the head of the father (Pl. 28-4) and the whole figure of another lady of the family (Pl. 28-5) remain to bear witness to the fine execution and lavish costume, with carefully applied rouge and beauty spots in the shape of a small bird on the lady’s face, exactly as found in the long lines of lady donors in the wall paintings. Despite the fine detail, however, there is no hint of individual characterization and the donors always remain type figures: they are depicted, in harmony with the intention behind the whole painting, as they would wish to be and not as they really were.
Before leaving this painting we should note how the organisation of the main Buddha group is typical of the tenth century. By this time the geometric forms of the haloes are very prominent, and the available space is evenly filled by the main figures. The whole group corresponds closely in its proportions to the preaching groups found on the ceiling of the Song dynasty Cave 61 at Dunhuang, and to the stencil (Pl. 78), which was probably used to produce similar preaching groups on other ceilings.此畫的上段，描繪的是隨帶阿難、迦葉的釋迦如來和二菩薩（參照圖28－2）。這些主尊的群體背後有四大天王中的兩身，前方有捧花的四身菩薩。中段以圖解《父母恩重經》的場景構成。此《父母恩重經》是自五代起到北宋初期在敦煌深受歡迎的僞經（不在印度本土，而是在中國撰述的佛經）。松本榮一博士在『敦煌畫の研究』（196～200頁）中指出，各場景所附的長方形題箋中的經文，和斯坦因敦煌文書中所見的經文基本一致。從而可認爲主要三尊像上方所繪的山脈，是表現《父母恩重經》開頭設定的耆闍崛山。
- Associated Title: Fumu enzhong jing
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.lii.004 (Stein no.)
- Ch.lxi.008 (Stein no.)
Front 67&68 Painting fragments showing Sakyamuni Buddha accompanied by two bodhisattvas, the disciples Ananda and Kasyapa, four lokapalas (world protectors) and four more bodhisattvas offering flowers. The section below, with numerous small figures (some missing), illustrates scenes from the Fumu enzhong jing, an apocryphal sutra about the blessings received from parents. Lowest section, much of which is missing, shows donor figures. Ink and colours on silk.
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Object reference number: RFC675
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