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This is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling constructed in the High Tang period. The ceiling center is a medallion enclosed by circular network, and in each of the four corners is an apsara. The four slopes are covered with thousand Buddha motifs. A niche with a flat ceiling in the west wall contains a seven-figure group: a Seated Buddha with legs pendent flanked by two disciples and four bodhisattvas, all renovated in the Qing dynasty. Except two bodhisattvas sit with one leg bent and one pendent, all the others stand. On the two sides of the nimbus are six painted disciples. There is a bodhi parasol on the ceiling of the niche. On each of the two sides out of the niche is a heavenly king statue, and an apsara is painted along the niche on either side.Both the south and north walls are covered with a large-sized Amitayus sutra illustration, while the layout of the figures, buildings and space arrangement of the one on the north wall are more pleasant to look at. Compared
of the East on the upper part of the north slope is partly damaged, but his four-dragon-drawn chariot is still visible. The Queen Mother of the West on the south slope wears a high chignon and loose-bodied robe. She sits on a three-phoenix-drawn chariot sheltered by a parasol. A large arch niche in the west wall contains a central Buddha and two bodhisattvas. The heads have been renovated. The central Buddha sits with legs pendent, wears Sankaksika, cross-collared Chinese robe and an outer red Kasaya, open in the front, which has a knot at the chest. The left hand was renovated in later times. On the west end of the side walls, two bodhisattvas stand symmetrically on a lotus throne with necklaces. They slantly wear a long skirt. The four walls are divided into three registers. The top registers of the four walls form a circle of heavenly musicians. On the middle register inside and out side of the west niche are apsaras, attendent bodhisattvas, Vasistha and Mrgasirsa; The two side walls each
Constructed in the Northern Wei dynasty, and located on the middle section of the cliff, this is the earliest central-pillared cave at Mogao. It has a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back. Under the two ends of the beam of the gabled ceiling and the molded rafters on both slopes are wooden brackets, a structure of Traditional Chinese architecture. Between the rafters are images of celestial beings holding lotuses.The flat ceiling in the back is connected to the ground by the central pillar, which has niches in all four sides for various statues. The large niche in the east side contains a cross-legged Maitreya Bodhisattva, which was originally flanked by four attendants, and now there is only one on the south side and two on the north side. On both sides of the nimbus on the west wall in the niche are attendant bodhisattvas respectively above Vasistha and Mrgasirsa. On the ceiling of the niche are apsaras. The lintel is decorated with reborn children on lotuses.
This cave was constructed in the period when the Hexi region was united by the Northern Wei. Originally it was a cave with a central pillar, a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back. Due to the collapse of the east wall, only a tiny part of the gable ceiling is preserved today. The cave is square in plan with a Han Chinese styled gabled ceiling in the front. On the west slope are celestial beings holding lotuses. The beam is decorated with painted laternendecke motifs. On the flat ceiling are also painted laternendecke motifs, though only two motifs in the southeast corner have survived. One of them depicts a few naked children swimming in a lotus pond. In the outer corner are four asparas. It was surrounded by a decorative border of honeysuckles.The central pillar in the back connects the ground with the ceiling. It has a niche on each of its four sides. The arch niche in the east side contains a statue of Maitreya sitting with legs pendent (whose eyes, nose
walls depict karma stories about Bhadrika and his sister, the salvation of a bad ox, a young samanera committing suicide in order to obey Buddhist precepts, and a Brahman sacrificing his body so as to hear the preaching. These all are neither represented in a long strip with successive scenes or in a single picture. Below the story paintings are guardian warriors. The north wall consists of the upper and lower sections. The upper section are occupied by seven preaching scenes, each containing a votive text and donor figures at the bottom. The second and the seventh counting from the west each has an inscription in which the date can be identified. The lower section also contain four cells, just like those in the south wall. Three seated Buddha are painted on the space above the entrance in the east wall. On both the south and north sides of the entrance is a preaching scene in large size. The top layer of the ceiling of the corridor show traces of the bodhisattva in diamond position
of Kashi's hunting (east side). Below them are six celetial musicians and apsaras. The figures in the story paintings wore Chinese style attire, and the painting style inherited the tradition of the Central Plains. An arch niche is dug out of the west wall housing a statue of seated Buddha with legs pendent. Behind the statue on the wall is a nimbus consisting of a circle of manifested Buddha images, and a Buddha inside flames. Each of the upper side behind the Buddha are two apsaras holding music instruments and the lower side with two precious pearls. On the niche lintel in bas-relief are colorful flames and incarnated boys. The niche pillars are decorated with lotuses with a dragon's head on the top. On both north and south sides out of the niche are two bodhisattvas and two statues of bodhisattvas, only the lotus thrones are preserved today. Below the niche are lotus patterns.The south wall in the main chamber contains a preaching scene in the center surrounded by the thousand Buddha
Constructed in the Sui dynasty and Renovated in the Five Dynasties, this cave consists of a main chamber, a corridor and a front chamber. The main chamber has a gabled ceiling in the front and a central pillar connecting the ground with the flat ceiling in the back. On the two slopes of the gabled ceiling are jataka tales painted in two horizontal bands, and on the flat ceiling are pictures of the Sui dynasty preaching scenes and painted laternendecke motifs. The central pillar is shaped like Mt. Sumeru formed by a seven-stepped inverted pagoda on the upper and a two-stepped square base on the ground. There is a arch niche in each side of the central pillar. The east one contains the statues of a Buddha and two disciples (the one on the north side is lost) and two bodhisattva statues flanking the entrance (the one on the north side is preserved, though damaged partly). The niche has a painted lintel in bas-relief with a dragon-headed beam and pillars decorated with lotus motifs.
Constructed in the Early Sui and Five Dynasties, renovated in the Qing dynasty, this cave consits of the front chamber, corridor and main chamber. The main chamber is square in plan. It has a central pillar and a gabled ceiling in the front and a flat ceiling in the back which is connected with the central pillar in the shape of Mt. Sumeru. The east slope of the gabled ceiling shows the Chapter of the Universal Gate of Avalokitesvara in the Lotus sutra (scenes of salvations of Avalokitesvara) in two horizontal bands, one above the other, and the west slope is used to render Thirty-three Manifestastions of Avalokitesvara recorded in the same chapter of the Lotus sutra in the same compostion.The center of the flat ceiling features a square in which round draperies are painted around the top of the central pillar. The four corners each have a dhyana Buddha (the one in the northeast is lost), and the center motif is surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. The central pillar
jian in width. There is no eave under the flat base of the upper storey. This kind of depiction is only seen among the Early Tang paintings.There is no window or wall between the pillars of the upper and lower storeys, which is replaced by the hanging curtains. The ground of the platform is paved with flowered tiles, similar to the customs of the Tang dynasty. On the space above the east entrance is a preaching scene, and on either side of it is a preaching scene of a seated Buddha. The south side of the entrance contains a standing Buddha and two bodhisattva in the center and a row of male donors of the Five Dynasties below (obscured). The north side contains a eleven-headed Avalokitesvara illustration in the center, and a row of male donors painted in the Five Dynasties (obscured). On the lower parts of the north and east walls in the main chamber are male donor figures, most of them have been obscured. Judged from the numbers in the surviving inscriptions, people who sponsored
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