A silk hanging brocade woven with a purple hue blue, silvery blue, light green, light pink, fawn, black and white, with gold thread used for the ground. Five Chinese characters in gold thread reading, ‘Wuliangshou Zunfo’ (Revered Buddha of Measureless Long Life). On each side of the inscription two large discs amongst swirling clouds, representing the sun and the moon. Below the inscription, two groups of four apasaras (celestial beings) offer tributes to a floating umbrella. Three figures of the Buddha Amitabha occupy the center, depicted here as ‘The Buddha of the Three Ages’- Past, Present and Future. Directly below the Buddha Amitabha are the eighteen arhats (followers of The Buddha) each holding their attributes and facing inwards to a floating basket of flowers, all supported by rolling clouds. The four heavenly Kings occupy the bottom part of the panel, holding their attributes; a serpent, a pagoda, an umbrella and a sword. This silk brocade would have been produced at the Qing imperial workshop for religious worship at court, and is an example of the continuation of Buddhist practices from preceding dynasties.
Similar example: An identical pattern from the Victoria and Albert Museum Collection, accession no. T.230-1965.