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painting / banner / 繪畫 / 幡

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1919,0101,0.85

  • Description

    Painted banner with four scenes from the Life of the Buddha, in a landscape setting: Buddha's father, King Suddhodana, sending messengers in search of Śākyamuni; the search; the farewell of Śākyamuni to his groom, Chandaka, and his horse, Kanthaka; and their return to the palace. Blank cartouches on alternate sides of the scenes. Ink and colours on silk.

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 9thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 31 centimetres
    • Width: 19.5 centimetres (upper part)
    • Height: 21.5 centimetres
    • Width: 20 centimetres (lower part)
  • Curator's comments

    Although set in a single frame with no divisions other than the landscape elements, this banner represents four episodes following Sākyamuni’s flight from his father’s palace. At the top, King Suddhodana is just visible issuing instructions to four men who stand bowing at the right. The king is seated cross-legged on a dais, behind a low draped table. His gesture, and particularly the exaggerated flouncing of the sleeves, resembles that which we shall see in the underworld kings of Stein painting 80 (Vol. 2, Pl.63). His position of authority and his anger contrast with the contrite, downcast attitudes of those who receive his instructions.
    Immediately below, three horsemen, carrying pennants, are seen riding through a hilly landscape. In the same landscape, at a point where the banner is unfortunately separated, Sākyamuni is shown bidding farewell to his horse and groom. The horse, Kanthaka, kneels as in the other representations of the Farewell (Pl. 29), almost prostrate with his head stretched out along the ground. Finally, in the last episode, Kanthaka has returned to the palace: one lady examines the empty saddle, and another wipes her tears away with her sleeve. Chandaka stands off to the left since there turn of the riderless horse is the poignant centerpiece of this scene.
    Both the narrative and the style find a continuation in Pl. 39, which Kiyohiko Munakata has described as follows, dating it sometime in the tenth century: “The representation follows the conventional structural systems of showing complex rock forms, the brushwork is unmistakably that of the ‘sparse’style. The strokes are those of changing width, having the emphasis of calligraphic strokes. More important is the way the strokes break the rigid outline system, not being precisely connected to each other.” (Munakata, 1965, p.46.) Dating apart, this is an excellent analysis of the style. It may be possible to show parallel developments in the figure painting of the late ninth century, for instance in banner paintings of individual Vajrapāni, where the ink strokes also break up the outlines and are not connected to each other. This banner, when found, had lost most of its accessories but still retained three streamers of bluish green silk. They had been detached and sewn on again with grass, according to the description in Serindia.這個場景唯一的分隔只有風景,這個幡代表了釋迦牟尼逃離他父親王宮之後的四個片斷情節。在頂部,可以看見淨飯王正在對弓腰站在右側的四個人發指示,淨飯王盤腿坐在講臺上的低矮桌子之後,他的姿勢,尤其是誇張的飾以荷葉邊裝飾的袖子,使人聯想到曾經在斯坦因幡畫80中見過的地獄之王。他的權威位置和他的憤怒與那些接受他訓斥的人的悔罪與沮喪的態度,形成了強烈的對比。
    緊接其下,可以看見三個騎馬的人舉著小旗,在山坡上騎行。在同一個畫面上幡很不幸在某一點上被撕裂。太子正在與他的馬和馬夫告別,這個馬,犍陟,象其它象征告別的那樣跪著(參照圖29),頭部直躺在地上,幾乎在跪拜他。最後一個片斷,犍陟已經回到王宮,一位女士正在檢查他的空馬鞍,另一位用衣袖擦去淚水。車匿遠退到了左邊,因爲沒有騎者的歸來的馬是本場景的傷痛的最重要部分。
    這個故事和形式都在圖39中找到了延續,Kiyohiko Munakata已經被描繪成跟隨者,它的時代應該在十世紀的某一時期,“表示跟隨傳統結構系統表現複雜岩石形式,畫家的筆法准確無誤地是稀疏的形式。線描強調肥瘦清晰的書法樣的技法,輪廓線只是間斷的連接”。(The Rise of Ink-Wash Landscape Painting in the T’ang dynasty.Princeton,1965,p.46)關於年代姑且不論,有關形式卻是出色的分析,很可能顯示了9世紀晚期諸像繪畫的並行發展,例如各別的金剛力士像的幡畫中,輪廓墨線也有中斷,並沒有相互連接在一起。這個幡在最初發現時,已經丟失了它的大部分配件,但是仍然保留了三個青綠色絹的幡腳。根據《西域》中的描寫,它們被拆開又被草縫上了。

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Whitfield 1982 pl.37 bibliographic details
    • Stein 1921a pp.1031-1032 bibliographic details
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 June 2004

    Treatment proposal

    Prepare textiles for digital photography. Clean and humidify if necessary. Support if fragmentary in appropriate method. Improve storage.

    Condition

    Extremely fragmentary.

    Very poorly stored. Difficult to view and handle.

    Treatment details

    The silk streamers were humidified on Goretex. Weak areas were supported with dyed silk crepeline patches adhered using Lascaux 360 and 498V in ratio 2:1 in a 10% solution in water. This was precoated onto the crepeline and reactivated in situ using IMS applied via blotters.

    Previous repair thread had to be removed to allow opening out during humidification.

    A storage system using melinex and correx was devised to enable the streamers to be stored flat with other similar streamers.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Life of the Buddha
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1919

  • Acquisition notes

    For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1919,0101,0.85

  • Additional IDs

    • Ch.xxvi.a.003 (Stein no.)
Front
Painted banner with four scenes from the Life of the Buddha, in a landscape setting: Buddha's father, King Suddhodana, sending messengers in search of Sakyamuni; the search; the farewell of Sakyamuni to his groom, Chandaka, and his horse, Kanthaka; and their return to the palace. Blank cartouches on alternate sides of the scenes. Ink and colours on silk.

Front Painted banner with four scenes from the Life of the Buddha, in a landscape setting: Buddha's father, King Suddhodana, sending messengers in search of Sakyamuni; the search; the farewell of Sakyamuni to his groom, Chandaka, and his horse, Kanthaka; and their return to the palace. Blank cartouches on alternate sides of the scenes. Ink and colours on silk.

Image description

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