- Museum number
Painting of Avalokiteśvara, standing on lotuses supported by clouds, holding a banner and censer. Identified by the Amitābha in his headdress, the Bodhisattva is guiding a lady soul to Paradise (Yinlu Bodhisattva), which is depicted in three bands of small Chinese palace buildings. The lady is elegantly dressed in Tang style, in a robe decorated with colourful roundels. Ink and colour on silk.
- Production date
- 901-950 (circa; Guiyijun period)
Height: 84.80 centimetres
Width: 54.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
From Whitfield 1983:
This painting more closely resembles the four examples on silk and paper from the Pelliot collection, already referred to in the notes to the preceding plate. The banner carried by the Bodhisattva, here clearly Avalokitesvara because of the figure of Amitabha in the headdress, is suspended from a long staff carried in his right hand and over his shoulder, and terminating in a golden hook. Perhaps this is the “sky-hook” referred to in the dated inscription (A.D. 956) of one of the long banners (Fig. 47). It certainly gives us a clue as to the possible use of the banners with triangular headpieces, free to twist and turn in the breeze as they were carried. Small diamonds of gold leaf adorn the streamers, and the main panel of the banner apparently imitates writing in red, but not in a recognizable script.
Both the Bodhisattva and the aristocratic figure behind him are supported on clouds, lightly silhouetted against pale colour shading. Both advance in three-quarter view, but the torso of the Bodhisattva is turned in a slight contrapposto to face the spectator, rather than being fully turned in a gesture to the lady behind as in Pl.9. The lady herself gives every impression of wealth and social standing (Pl. 10-3). Her stance is upright, in contrast to the downward glance and demure bearing that characterizes the lady of Pl.9-3, in harmony with the protective attitude of the Bodhisattva in that painting.
From Whitfield 1983:
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.165
1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.165
1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.165
2007 8 Feb-5 Aug, BM Gallery 91, 'Gods, Guardians and Immortals: Chinese Religious Paintings'
2014 3 Apr-31 Aug, BM Gallery 91, 'Gems of Chinese painting: a voyage along the Yangzi River'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- For full acquisition history, see 1919,0101,0.1.
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Ch.lvii.003 (Stein no.)