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in the east wall, below the preaching scene is an inscription of the Song dynasty (already blurred). To the north of the inscription are two male donors of the Song dynasty, and to the south are one female donor (vague) and a bhiksuni (Buddhist nun). The upper part of the south side of the entrance is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs of the Sui dynasty, and the lower part with six male donors painted in the Song dynasty. Along the entrance is a treasured pagoda of the Song dynasty. The north side of the entrance depicts the thousand Buddha motif of the Sui dynasty in the upper and four female donors and a bodhisattva of the Song dynasty below. Along the entrance is also a treasured pagoda of the Song dynasty. The corridor was repainted in the Western Xia. A medallion pattern is in the center and the draperies are painted on two slopes. Each of the south and north walls have two bodhisattvas. The front chamber was repainted in the Western Xia. On the west slopes are traces of some
This cave was constructed in the later period when Guazhou was ruled by the Western Xia. With the diversified contents and art of both exotic and esoteric Buddhism, supported respectively by Chinese and the Tibetans, it is a most representative cave with the most matured and unique art. The cave is rectangular in plan with a dome ceiling. In the central back is an octangular altar with three steps on which stand a few statues of the Qing dynasty. The lower parts of the four walls are platforms of double steps built in the Qing dynasty, on which stand the statues of eighteen arhats. The ceiling is covered with a Mandala: in the center are five Buddhas of five directions. The middle part of the east wall is used for depicting Buddha's life stories, and on the two sides are a mandala of fifty-one headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of exotic Buddhism, a garbhadhatu-mandala of the esoteric Buddhism, and an illustration of the Sutra on Deva's Questions of exotic
This cave, constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Qing dynasty, has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. The ceiling center of the main chamber is a design of a large medallion surrounded by different decorative borders, one after another, of the connected pearls, half medallion, scales, and draperies. The four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. The west niche which has a flat ceiling contains a central Buddha made in the Tang dynasty, renovated in the Qing dynasty, two disciples reshaped in the Qing dynasty, and two bodhisattvas repainted in the Qing dynasty. Most of the ceiling of the niche is damaged. The north and south sides of the niche each depict a bodhisattva. There is a platform made of adobe on either side out of the niche, on which stands a bodhisattva of the Qing dynasty. The east wall is covered with an illustration of Vimalakirti sutra, which consists of three scenes in the form of the Chinese character "品". The space
Constructed in the High Tang period, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a medallion pattern composed of flowers and clouds and draperies. The draperies extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (partly damaged). A niche with a flat ceiling in the west wall contains a seven figure group made in the Tang dynasty and repainted in the Qing dynasty. The ceiling is decorated with a parasol and lotuses. Each of the north and south sides out of the niche depicts a Bodhisattva. The south wall is covered with a western pure land illustration, the middle and lower parts of it was damaged. The north wall is also covered with an Amitayus sutra illustration with two side scenes respectively for the Sixteen Meditation and the story between Bimbisara and Ajatasattu. The lower part is lost. Most of the east wall has collapsed, ony a few images of the thousand Buddha motifs have survived on the north side of the entrance.
by one Buddhist monk, two nuns, two male donors and one female donor. The ceiling, east slope and south slope are severely damaged. The west side of the south wall is devoted to the illustration of the Medicine Buddha and the east side to the illustration of the Sutra on Devas' Questions. Below them are seven male donor figures. The west side of the south wall is covered with the illustration of the Amitabh sutra and the east side with the illustration of the Maitreya sutra (both incomplete). Below them are 10 female donor figures. On the north side of the entrance in the east wall is an illustration of Cintamani-cakra with two female donors below and on the south side is an illustration of Amogha-pasa (the upper part is lost) with three male donor figures below. Notes: According to a a votive text below the west niche (now invisible), this cave was constructed in the 12th year of Xiantong era (871).
is decorated with ocean pomegranate and twisted vines. On the upper of the niche are curtain designs with an apsara on each side. There is an adobe platform on each side alongside the niche, and there was originally a statue (now lost). Below the niche are images of Manjusri, Samantabhadra and Mt. Wutai. Alongside the niche on the south side is an illustration of Samantabhadra, and on the opposite side is that of Manjusri. The south wall depicts the Diamond sutra illustration on the west side and the Amitayus sutra illustration on the east side, both having screen paintings below (vague). The north wall depicts the Panikarasuttau sutra illustration on the west side and that of the Medicine Buddha on the east side, both having screen paintings below (vague). On the east wall, the illustration of Defeating Mara is in the center above the entrance and the Maitreya sutra and Avalokitesvara illustrations are respectively on the south and north sides of the entrance.
with the Early Tang sutra illustrations, the combination of the figures, the layout of the buildings, and the treatment of the perspectives displayed greater artistic refinement, especially the perspective. The hall in the center is the main body of the architecture, and it looks grand when painted in a low angle. Those buildings on the two sides are in a high angle, looking vast. The pavilions in the back are depicted at the eye level, looking deep. In this way, the focus is on the symmetry axis, slightly upward, creating a focus perspective, and making it a perfect patchwork of palace groups.On the space above the entrance in the east wall is a pureland illustration. On the south side are four bodhisattvas including Kistigabha and Avalokitesvara above the Samantabhadra illustration, the lower part is obscured. On the north side are four bodhisattvas including Bhaisajyaguru Bodhisattva above a Manjusri illustration, and below is a row of female donor figures of the Song dynasty(obscured
male donors of the High Tang and four Western Xia female donors (upper part is lost). The upper part of the east wall is damaged. The south side of the entrance contains the images of a Ksitigabha and a Avalokitesvara as well as a Tang dynasty female donor. The north side is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs, below them are images of an Avalokitesvara and a Tang dynasty male donor. There is a preaching scene on the ceiling of the corridor. The south wall of the corridor is devoted to the illustration of Amogha-pasa and the north wall to the Cintamani-cakra illustration, both were painted in the Late Tang. In the front chamber, there is a preahing scene of the Later Tang on the space above the entrance in the west wall (blurred), A Late Tang heavenly king is painted on each of the south and north sides of the entrance (blurred). The south wall in the front chamber has traces of Late Tang paintings (blurred), below them are five male donors (obscured). On the north wall is a Later
Located on the middle section of the Southern Area at Mogao and constructed in the Early Tang dynasty (renovated in the Middle Tang, Later Tang, Five Dynasties, Song and Qing dynasties), this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in the west wall. It is one of the representative Tang dynasty caves. It was perhaps in the Song or Western Xia period that the paintings in this cave were all covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. In 1944, the Dunhuang Art Research Institute removed the upper layer murals on the four walls, revealing the original Early Tang paintings. The west niche contains a central Buddha flanked by two disciples and two bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). The donor figures of the Early Tang below the niche are vague. The illustrations of the Vimalakirti and Manjusri are respectively rendered on the two sides out of the niche. The south wall is occupied by the Amitayus sutra illustration, and the north wall by the Medicine Buddha illustration.
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
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