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painting / banner / 繪畫 / 幡

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1919,0101,0.91

  • Description

    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.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 9thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 37 centimetres
    • Width: 18.8 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    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 )。
    摩耶王后和她的侍女表現爲唐代貴族婦女,豐滿的形體和面部爲八世紀晚期的唐明皇所喜愛,梳著帶有裝飾的很大的髮髻,但是沒有一個長的別針---這在十世紀早期變行很流行。
    第三個場景表現在藍毘尼園中九龍爲新生王子進行洗禮,釋迦牟尼站在須彌壇形狀的臺子上。九條龍被繪成一朵雲,以致無法分辨各自的形狀,類似地,在最後一個場景,表現他的誓言和行七步,下一個顯示了三朵蓮花,還有一朵是佛站在上面,另外還有三朵在天空中他的頭上,所以事實上變成了七朵。整個幡旗的描繪都很粗略,使用簡單的顔色,避免過分裝飾。
    幡畫的上端已經遣失了,可以看見底部的竹支架。剛剛發現它的時候,還有棕色絹的幡腳的斷片。

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  • Bibliography

    • Whitfield 1982 pl.31 (shown with 1919,0101,0.89) bibliographic details
    • Stein 1921a pp.947-948 bibliographic details
  • 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

    1919,0101,0.91

  • Additional IDs

    • 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.

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.

Image description

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