painting / banner / 繪畫 / 幡
Banner fragment showing two scenes from the Life of the Buddha: the dream of Queen Maya and the birth of Śākyamuni. A blank cartouche at the side of the top scene. Mounted with two other scenes from original banner (see 1919,0101,0.89). Ink and colours on silk.
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.0039 (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: 37 centimetres
- Width: 18.8 centimetres
These two fragments were originally joined as a single banner of four scenes, disposed however in a continuous setting rather than in separate frames as in the last example. The top scene, although more summarily depicted, will be recognized as the same as the third in that banner, namely the conception of Sakyamuni, when he appeared to Queen Maya as a child riding a white elephant. The second scene proceeds immediately to the actual birth. This still preserves elements of iconography common to the earliest surviving depictions of the event, for instance at Amaravati in the first to second centuries A.D. Although there the child himself is not shown, the ladies attendant on the queen hold out a cloth to receive him (Barrett, 1954,Pl.Ⅷc).
Queen Maya and her attendants are shown as aristocratic Tang ladies, with the rather full figures and plump faces associated with Emperor Minghuang’s favourite in the late eighth century; they wear a large chignon with ornaments but none of the long pins that become common in the early tenth century.
The third scene shows the washing of the new-born prince by nine dragons in the Lumbini Garden. Sakyamuni stands on a kind of Sumeru pedestal, and the nine dragons are combined into a single cloud within which they are not in fact individually distinguished at all (Pl.31-3). Similarly, in the last scene, showing his vow and the seven steps, the latter are shown by just three lotus tracks in addition to the one he stands on, thought up to seven by the three in the sky above him. The whole depiction of this banner is somewhat cursory, with simple colours used for the landscape and an avoidance of elaboration.
The top of the banner is lost, but at the bottom the bamboo stretcher can just be seen; this, when found, had fragments of brown silk streamers.這兩個碎片原來是拼成四個場景的單獨一幅畫，但是就象在最後的例子中一樣，它已經處理成一個連續的場景。最高處的場景，雖然是總結性的描述，在人們記憶中與第三種完全相同，就是釋迦牟尼的胎兒期，即他顯示爲一個孩子乘坐白象走向摩耶王后。第二場景即進行到實際的出生，這對於早期的事件描述保存著通常的聖象成分，比如從一世紀到二世紀中在Amārāvati的例子。雖然孩子自己並沒有出現，王后的侍女拿出一塊布來接納他。(Barrett,1954, pl.VIIIc )。
- Associated Event: Life of the Buddha
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.0039 (Stein no.)
Front Banner fragment showing two scenes from the Life of the Buddha: the dream of Queen Maya and the birth of Sakyamuni. A blank cartouche at the side of the top scene. Mounted with two other scenes from original banner (see 1919,0101,0.89). Ink and colours on silk.
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Object reference number: RFC704
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