Mahapratisara Bodhisattva

    SKU: brimus174

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    About

    This elaborate Da Sui qiu tuoluoni print bears, in cartouches near the top, the names of the donor, Li Zhishun, and the carver, Wang Wenzhao. The Da Sui qiu tuoluoni text or mystic formula is written in Sanskrit in concentric lines around the central figure of Mahapratiscara Bodhisattva. His eight arms hold different attributes reflecting his protective powers, described in the dated Chinese inscription below. The symmetrical arrangement is reminiscent of a mandala, with eight deities and eight lotuses in medallions, alternating with sixteen vajras around the perimeter and four more lotus medallions at the corners of the inner frame. The central disk is borne on an elaborately decorated lotus supported by two heavenly kings who stand in a sea, and is surmounted by clouds rising in the sky above. All twelve of the lotus medallions are apparently overprinted with Sanskrit seed characters. Because the latter appear in exactly the same positions on this print and one in the Pelliot Collection, it would seem that they were carved on another block of the same size, and that a whole edition was printed from each of the two blocks in turn. This would be the earliest example of taoban, using multiple blocks to create a single image.

    Specification

    Details: Mahāpratisāra Bodhisattva with text of Da Sui qiu tuoluoni, woodblock print on paper, AD 980, Dunhuang, Gansu province, China. (c) The Trustees of the British Museum

    Paper prints are framed with high grade Perspex (Plexiglas).

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