Fragments of painted cotton

Fragments of painted cotton

Fragments of painted cotton
Miran, China
300-400 AD
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.238 (M.III.0026)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from the Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

The remains of a coarse cotton cloth has been covered with a very thin coat of white plaster painted dark blue. Onto the wet plaster were fixed groups and sprays of artificial leaves cut separately out of red and blue cloth and stuck together. Stein discovered these in the ruins of a shrine, square outside but circular within, which had once been surmounted by a dome and enclosed a small stupa in its centre. Spectacular murals had once decorated the walls such as winged figures and western-looking people in a 'Graeco-Buddhist' style, as coined by Stein.