painting / banner / 繪畫 / 幡
Painted banner with lokapala Dhrtarastra, Guardian of the East, holding bow and arrow. Splendidly armoured and with a tiger skin around his waist, he stamps on a one-eyed, snaggle-toothed demon. Ink and colours on silk.
- Excavated/Findspot: Qian Fo Dong, Ch.xxvi.a.006 (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: 40.5 centimetres
- Width: 15.5 centimetres
The Lokapāla here very impressive in spite of the small size of the banner, which has lost all its accessories, but preserves its lower border of flowers in lozenge panels intact. Dhrtarāstra, holding the bow and arrow which identify him as the Guardian King of the East, stands solidly in the centre, turning to the spectator’s left. His feet are supported by a tousle-headed, one-eyed, snaggletoothed demonic figure naked from the waist up and drawn with short thick-and- thin lines of ink that are comparable to those used in the Vajrapāni paintings such as Pl. 58.
The predominant tones of the painting are the yellow of the scale armour and the red of its leather borders. Around his waist the Lokapāla wears a tiger skin, similar to that worn by the fragmentary figure of Fig. 110. White originally played a major part in the painting, but as usual has come away where it was applied directly on the silk, and is only really bright in a few places such as the one open eye of the supporting figure, and the eyes and horns of the animal mask above the belt. Perhaps a better grade of white was used for these accents. The ink outlines were strengthened after the application of the colour; but this was not done consistently, and in some places, such as the red trouser of the demon below, the ink lines are fainter. At the moment it is not clear whether these fainter lines of ink beneath the colour are the under-drawing, or the final ink lines applied from the other side, which could mean that the colours were applied first, using a stencil, and the details and contours added later on both sides.
Some features of the painting may be explained by reference to the very similar banner of Virūpāksa in New Delhi (Stein, Thousand Buddhas, Pl. XXⅦ) and to the splendid wall painting of the same king in the Yulin caves (Warner, 1938, Pl.XIV), which must date before A.D. 901, when a visitor left an inscription beside him. All three representations are shown in similar poses and with the same armour, but the function of the animal mask in clasping the belt is clearer in these other examples than in the British Museum banner, where the lower jaw has been omitted.雖然是小型的幡畫，卻是一件給人印象深刻的作品，附屬品全部遺失，只留下菱形中配飾花紋的完整的下端邊飾。從手持弓箭知道此天王像是東方的守護神，即持國天。兩腿基本是拉開架式站立在中央，上體略向左方扭。雙腳踏此亞咧嘴的獨眼卷毛地鬼，該鬼用腰以上赤裸的姿勢支撐著持國天。此地鬼採用了與圖58的金剛力士像同樣手法的線描。
與此畫非常相似的有新德里國立博物館的幡畫廣目天像（斯坦因《千佛洞》，圖27）以及精美的榆林窟廣目天像可資參考。通過榆林窟廣目天旁邊的題記，知道是901年以前製作的（Warner，Buddhist Wall-Painting1 Pl.14）。不與它們相比較，該繪畫中也會有不確切的部分。這三身廣目天像是相同的姿勢、同樣的鎧甲，但相比腰帶的獸飾，本圖中省去下顎，而那兩例卻完全齊備，其功能表現得更爲明白。
For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Ch.xxvi.a.006 (Stein no.)
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Object reference number: RFC746
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