Black and white photograph showing a carved stone stupa with Indian decoration and a metal cap on the highest tower.
Hedda Morrison wrote of a similar photograph in 'A photographer in Old Peking' (p. 70), that this was 'The stupa of the Tellow Temple which lay outside the north wall of Peking. The temple was originally built as a residence for the Dalai Lama who visited Peking in 1651. The stupa was built later, to commemorate the death of Panchen Lama who died in Peking in 1781'. The stupa, known as the Qingzheng huacheng pagoda, was located inside the Western Yellow Temple complex (Xi Huang si). It contains the personal effects of the Sixth Panchen Lama who died of small pox during a visit to Peking. The octagonal marble stupa is carved with scenes of the life of Buddha. A 1935 guide to Peking describes the temple in this way: 'The temple formerly housed a large community of Mongol Lamas and was an important centre of Lamaism, famous for the 'Devil Dances', known as 'Whipping the Devils', which were held here on the 13th and 15th of the First Moon. It has now fallen on evil days. The greater part of the buildings are in ruins or are occupied as barracks, and the lamas have all departed, except a few caretakers. The only portion worth visiting is the enclosure on the western side, where buildings have been recently repaired, and in which stands the so-called 'Marble Pagoda' (Arlington and Lewishon, 'A guide to Old Peking', pp. 238-239).
This is one of a large number of photographs that were taken by Hedda Morrison (1908-1991) during her years of residence in Peking (Beijing), China 1933-1946.
Exhibited in 'Peking: 1933-1946 - A photographic impression', Menzies Library, Australian National University, 17-30 June 1967. An almost identical photograph was reproduced in Hedda Morrison, 'A photographer in Old Peking', Hong Kong, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 70, with the caption: 'The stupa of the Yellow Temple which lay outside the north wall of Peking. The temple was originally built as a residence for the Dalai Lama who visited Peking in 1651. The stupa was built later, to commemorate the death of Panchen Lama who died in Peking in 1781'.
Gift of Mr Alastair Morrison, 1992