This is undoubtedly a Kesi masterpiece. The core is 434cm high and 279cm wide. Kesi refers to silk fabrics with colorful thread woven decorative patterns. The colorful bold latitudinal threads are prominent while the fine longitudinal threads of natural color are hidden. In the finished work, small holes scatter between either patterns and the plain background or colors.
The picture can be divided into five parts from top to bottom, respectively sun and the moon on the top tier; two groups of heavenly performers, 4 in each group on the 2nd tier; Buddhas of three periods on the 3rd tire, specifically Sakyamuni Buddha and the attendants Acolyte Bodhisattva and Anada right in the middle, Dipamkara Buddha of the past on the left, and Maitreya Buddha of the future on the right; the Eighteen Arhats and the Four Heavenly Kings on the 4th tire, namely Dhanada of the North and Virupaksa of the West on the left, and Virudhaka of the South and Dhrtarastra of the East on the right; and auspicious clouds on the 5th tire. Inscriptions include “Qianlong Yulan Zhibao”, “Qian”, “Long”, “Sanxitang Jingjian Xi” “Yizisun”, “Qianlong Jianshang”, “Midian Zhulin”, etc.
Among all these 35 figures of various expressions also exists the solemn Qianlong Emperor pretending Arhat in a red robe and a bamboo hat.
Overall, this Kesi Buddha craft is sophisticated and skillful, highlighted by its exquisite workmanship and magnificent appearance using multiple colors, and reign supreme on Kesi technique. According to the picture, this craft might be made for activities like praying and paying respect for Buddha in Qing’s imperial court. Such a tremendous Kesi Buddha of early Qing Dynasty is very rarely seen.