This wall painting was part of a composition that embellished the interior of a temple cut into the soft rock of the Kizil cliffs. The monk, shown in the pious act of offering a flower, was probably placed near a Parinirvana (death of the Buddha) image. Small details such as his shirt and outer robe provide a rare glimpse of the appearance of a member of the Buddhist community at the time.
Inscription: Pencil notation on back of panel: M. Ô. Q., Gr. Anlage, Figuren Höhle, Stück 8, Kiste 29, Tur-wand
[ C. Edward Wells , New York, until 1940; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Glimpses of the Silk Road: Central Asia in the First Millennium," 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Buddhism Along the Silk Road," June 2, 2012–February 10, 2013.