1
2
3
This cave was constructed in the Tang dynasty and its corridor was renovated in the Song dynasty. It has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a west niche. The ceiling of the main chamber features a medallion pattern formed by four cloud motifs and the draperies extend to the four slopes which are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs with a seated Buddha in the center. The tent-like ceiling of the west niche contains a five figure group: one Buddha two bodhisattvas and two disciples. The U shaped altar has six small frames decorated with musicians. The center of the niche ceiling highlights a painted medallion. The west slope is decorated with draperies on the upper and two screen paintings below which illustrate Buddha's life stories including the bathing scene of the prince by nine dragons. The north slope shows the same design as the south one but the screen paintings illustrate the Three Assembly of Maitreya namely the Maitreya sutra illustration. The edge of the niche 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.
Constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Late Tang and Western Xia this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. Most of the main chamber has collapsed. Now there is only a part of the west slope of the ceiling with a half medallion motif and a part of the north slope of the ceiling with a head of a bhiksu survived. The tent-like niche in the west wall contains a group of stucco figures of the High Tang period: a seated Buddha two disciples two bodhisattvas and two heavenly kings. There is a platform on which stands guardian warriors on both the north and south sides alongside the niche. There is an illustration of the Vimalakirti sutra on the south wall (most of it is damaged). Below the sutra illustration are sixteen donor figures of the Western Xia. The north wall is covered with an Amitayus sutra illustration (the upper part is lost) with two side scenes for the Sixteen Meditations and the story between Bimbisara and Ajatasattu. Below it are six female donors and five 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 Tang heavenly king.
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. There are two scenes of dancers in the north wall (called as the whirling dance by some scholars). A preaching scene is painted on the space above the cave entrance. There are also two figures a male and a female. There is also an inscription dating to the 16th year of Zhengguan era (642 CE). The two sides of the entrance wall are devoted to the Vimalakirti sutra illustration. In 1975 the Dunhuang Art Research Institute has removed the surface layer of the paintings as a whole thus revealing the intact bottom paintings: a new styled illustration of Manjusri in the Tongguang third year (925) of the Five Dynasties seven donor figures including that of Zhai Fengda an inscription (on the north wall) a niche painted in the Middle Tang a Buddha a monk and seven donors painted in the Later Tang an inscription about the Examination of the Family Tree written by Zhai Fengda (on the south wall). Each picture in this cave is a masterpiece and the image of Vimalakirti in particular is of the highest level. The emperor and ministers can be compared with the Emperors of the Past Dynasties painted by Yan Liben. The dancing scene and the music band in the Medicine Buddha illustration are precious material for studying the music and dance.
Constructed in the late Northern Wei and the early Western Wei this single-chambered cave is square in plan with a truncated pyrmidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a combination motif of an inverted lotus flames honeysuckles and lotuses. The four slopes are devoted to the paintings of "the heaven and earth with various images." The upper part depicts a world where Buddhism coexists with Taoism. In the center of the west slope is four-armed four-eyed Asura guarded by two dragons standing in the sea and holding the sun and the moon in his hands. Behind him are Mt.Sumeru and the Tusita Heaven. On both sides of Mt. Sumeru are gods of the Thunder the Lightning Wind and Rain who created a scene of thunder and lighting in addition to the Scarlet Bird Wuhuo Garuda and apsaras. In the upper center of the east slope is a Mani Pearl held high by two guardian warriors and flanked by apsaras. The Scarlet Bird and the peacock fly towards each other. The image of King Father 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 have a preaching scene in the center with rows of donor figures surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs. On the lower register are guardian warriors. The front chamber of this cave collapsed completely and the east and north slopes of the ceilings are also partly damaged. The remaining parts are basically intact.
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. The niche beam shaped like a dragon is supported by two pillars wrapped in painted silk. Most molded figurines on the two sides or above the niche have been damaged only a few are preserved. The other three sides each have two niches one above the other. The upper niches shaped like the Chinese traditional gateway on the south and north sides each contain a cross-legged Maitreya bodhisattva while the lower arch niches contain a dhyana Buddha. The upper niche shaped in the form of two spreading trees and the lower arch niche in the west side each contain a dhyana Buddha flanked by two attendant bodhisattvas out of the niche. There are molded figurines on the two sides and above the upper niche which are blackened by sootiness. On the four sides of the central pillar below the niches are images of yakshas.A niche with the Chinese styled gateway is dug out of the side walls under the gabled ceiling and contains a cross-legged Maitreya bodhisattva. And four arch niches are made in each of the side walls in the back respectively contains a preaching Buddha or a dhyana Buddha. Among them the heads of the Buddha statues in the south wall are all partly damaged while two in the north wall are well preserved.The top section of the four walls are used for heavenly musicians and below them are thousand Buddha motifs in which each Buddha has an inscription beside indicating his title. There are totally 1235 Buddhas. The west sides of both side walls each contain a preaching scene and in the center of the west wall is a preaching scene of a white-robed Buddha.The middle registers of the south and north walls under the niche in the front are covered with Jataka tales and Buddha's life stories. On the south wall is an illustration of Mara's Attack and to its west are scenes of the Sattva Jataka. On the north side is the karma story of Nanda and to its west is the Sibi Jataka.There is a successive decorative border consisting of algebra motifs such as checkboards and lozenges and plants like transformed lotuses and twisted honeysuckles on the four walls which separate the upper thousand Buddha motifs preaching scenes and story paintings from the lower images of the yakshas.There is a window above the entrance. On both sides of the entrance and the window are thousand Buddha motifs. A part of a Sui Dynasty preaching scene is preserved on the north wall of the corridor.
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 and hands have been damaged) and wearing a kasaya with the right shoulder exposed. The folds were made by sticking on strips of mud and inscribing natural and smooth lines. The exterior of the niche is divided into an upper level and a lower level which are respectively covered with ten attendant bodhisattvas. On the top of the niche are four apsaras and Buddha's halos. The niche lintel is decorated with reborn children on lotuses and a dragon head on each end. There was a heavenly king alongside each side of the niche. Now there is only one left. This is the only painted statue of lokapala of the Northern Dynasties at Mogao. Above the niche are molded statues stuck to the surface and below along the edge of the niche are donors of the Northern Wei (obscured). At the bottom of the base are donors of the Song dynasty (obscured). There other three sides each have a upper niche and a lower niche. The two upper niches on the south and north sides are shaped like the Han Chinese city gates with a bodhisattva statue inside while the other niches contain a dhyana Buddha statue flanked by two bodhisattva statues out of the niches.On the north and south walls below the gabled ceiling are large-sized preaching scenes most of which are damaged. In the center of the back part of the sidewalls is a small preaching scene. The extant murals on the west south and north walls in the back of the chamber are divided into three registers from top down respectively for the heavenly musicians thousand Buddha motifs and yakshas. Between the images of the yakshas and the thousand Buddha motifs is a horizontal band of narrative stories which runs through the three walls. On the south wall is the narrative about a Samanera (novice monk) committing suicide in order to obey Buddhist precepts and about the karma stories of an inferior dog. On the west wall is the nine-colored deer jataka and on the north part of the west wall and the north wall are paintings about the karma of Lady Sumati. These story murals painted on a redish brown ground focus on the figures and animals while the landscape houses horses and chariots are just used to suggest the background of the story. This is exactly the extension of the traditional Han and Jin painting styles in Buddhist murals.The narrative story paintings in this cave are rendered in a comptetely new style and composition compared to the earlier works form the inception of the Mogao Grottoes. They are the masterpieces of the narrative story paintings at Mogao which exerted far-reaching influence on the development of the Buddhist art at Mogao.
This cave was constructed during the Datong era in the Western Wei (according to the inscriptions on the north wall which has the dates of the fourth year and fifth year of the Datong era of the Western Wei (538-548) and it is the dated earliest cave among the Dunhuang caves.The main chamber is square in plan and has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. A square altar was made in the center in the Yuan dynasty and there are four symmetircal cells on each side walls. Inside or at the entrance of some cells are the remnants of the pagoda of the Yuan dynasty. The ceiling center highlights a parasol design while the four slopes are covered with the images from Chinese mythology such as the traditional Chinese gods and protectors of Buddhist laws Mani Pearl Guardian warriors apsaras god of Thunder auspicious beasts Fuxi and Nüwa and etc. The bottom circle of the four slopes contains thirty-six monks in meditation in huts or in the mountain forests where all kinds of animals and hunting scenes are painted. There is a big niche in the west wall which has two small side cells. The west niche contains a seated Buddha with legs pendent and preaching. The side cells in the niche each have a meditation monk with a cowl. The upper part of the space out of the niche is occupied with various images of all kinds of devas and heretic figures such as the gods of the Sun and the Moon the gods of the stars Visnu Mahesvara Kumara Vinayaka and worshipping bodhisattvas below them are four heavenly kings and Vasistha. The brim of the niche at the bottom is decorated with the honeysuckle motifs. The North wall consists of the upper middle and lower parts. The upper part is devoted to eleven musician apsaras holding different music instruments. The middle part is covered with the narrative story of five hundred robbers which ends with the scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna sitting side by side. The lower part contains four cells. The spaces between the cells on the side 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 painted in the Middle Tang dynasty. The south wall has a illustration of Amoghapasa and the north has an illustration of Cintamani-cakra both date to the Middle Tang period. The front chamber is a rectangle in plan and the ceiling is a slope with traces of the Song dynasty murals. The west wall in the front chamber has a small cell above the entrance (numbered as cave 286). The south side of the entrance has some traces of the Song dyansty donor figures and below them the Middle Tang paintings can be seen. The north of the entrance with the picture of the Song dynasty male donor figures is numbered as cave 287 .
Constructed in the Northern Zhou dynasty this cave consists of a main chamber a corridor and a front chamber. The main chamber is square in plan and has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. In the center of the ceiling is a painted motif of laternendecke with lotuses and draperies extending to the four slopes. In the center of the west slope are a Lotus and a Mani Pearl flanked by six musicians and apsaras on either side. Below them is the niche beam decorated with motifs of flame lotus and incarnated boys. The scenes on the south and east slopes form a complete Sattva Jataka. The scenes on the south slope mainly include the episodes of Prince Sattva leaving the palace hunting and taking a break. And those on the east slope include episodes of feeding the tiger and building a pagoda. Below are celestial musicians six apsaras and draperies. The north slope is devoted to the Samaka Jataka which consists of the episodes of worshipping the blind parents (on the west side) and King 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 motifs below which are yakshas (only two preserved). There is a bhiksu seventeen male donor figures and a yakshas in the lower part on the west side and twelve female donor figures on the east side. Some paintings on this wall were damaged due to a hole cut through the wall in the Qing dynasty. The murals on the north wall are symmetrical to those on the south wall: a preaching scene (half of it was damaged by the hole cut through the wall) amid the thousand Buddha motifs. The west lower part contains three bhiksus fourteen male donor figures and a yaksha while the opposite side contains eighteen bhiksus and eight donors. The space above the entrance in the east wall is divided into upper and middle and lower sections. The upper section on is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs the middle section on the south side contains three female donors chariots drawn by oxen and two attendants while the middle one on the north side contains two bhiksus and six male donors. Below them are three bhiksus and three male donors.
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. The niche in the south side contains a statue of the Buddha and two bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). On each side out of the niche is a statue of bodhisattva (the one on the west side is lost). The niche in the west side contains a central Buddha flanked by two disciples renovated in the Qing dynasty. The niche in the north side also contains a three-figure group renovated in the Qing dynasty and the two statues out of the niche are lost. Beneath the paintings on the north side of the central pillar below the niche can be seen some words "June 11 in the fourth year of Kaihuang era " which indicates when this cave was constructed (around 584 CE) hence the name "Cave of the fourth year of Kaihuang era." This inscription with exact date is not only a reliable evidence for dating the Sui dynasty caves but also a criterion for studying the artistic styles of the caves of that period. A large niche with a double recesses dug out of the west wall contains a five-figure group: a central Buddha two disciples and two bodhisattvas (without head). Flanked the nimbus on the inner niche wall are two images of incarnated boys. The lower part out of the niche are eight bhiksunis of the Song dynasty beneath which are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. On the ceiling of the niche are images of ten heavenly musicians. The upper part of the south wall depicts twelve heavenly musicians railings and draperies from west to east and the middle part is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs amid which is a preaching scene of the Medicine Buddha and a double-recessed niche housing a central Buddha and two disciples (only the disciple on the west side is preserved) and two bodhisattvas on outer niche (only the one on the east is preserved). The niche lintel is decorated with honeysuckle motifs. On the back part is a preaching scene. On the junction of the south wall and the ground are nine bhiksus and male donors of the Song dynasty beneath are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. On the upper part of the north wall is a preaching scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna which was damaged by a hole dug through the wall; on the part connecting the ground are a row of the Song dynasty donor figures beneath are traces of the Sui dynasty paintings. The top of the east wall are occupied by heavenly musicians railings and draperties and on the space above the entrance is a preaching scene flanked by the thousand Buddha motifs in addition to bhiksus and donors. On the tent-like ceiling of the corridor is a scene of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara of the Song dynasty and on each of the side walls are four dhyana Buddhas of the Song dynasty. Most of the ceiling in the front chamber has collapsed. On each side of the entrance in the west wall is a scene of Vaishravana attending Nezha's assembly dating back to the Song dynasty. On the upper part of the entrance are respectively an illustration of the Cintamani-cakra and of the Amogha-pasa and the middle parts are filled with scenes of four dragons paying respect to the Buddha.
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 is shaped like Mt. Sumeru: it consists of the upper part of an inverted round seven-storeyed pagoda and a two stepped square throne on the ground. The upper six storeys are decorated with the small molded Buddhas and lowest storey contains a lotus with four dragons around the lotus stem. A niche is dug out in each of the four sides of the throne. The arch niche in the east side contains the statues of one Buddha and two disciples made in the Qing dynasty. On each side out of the niche is a bodhisattva statue renovated in the Qing dynasty. below the niche are images of bhiksus bhiksunis male and female donors. The arch niche in the south side contains a Buddha statue and a disciple made in the Qing dynasty. On the wall inside the niche are two incarnated children and on each side out of the niche is a statue of a bodhisattva renovated in the Qing dynasty. Below the niche are male and female donor figure and yakshas painted in the Sui dynasty. The arch niche in the north side contains statues of one Buddha and one disciple and on each side out of the niche are a bodhisattva statue (only the one on the south side survived) all renovated in the Qing dynasty. The dragon heads on the niche beams in four side of the central pillar obviously follow the style of the Northern Dynasties which exhibit the influence from the eaves and roof decoration in Han Chinese architecture. The west wall in the main chamber contains ten celestial musicans railings and draperies in the upper level and a walking Buddha surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs in the middle level and male donor figures in the lower level above the landscape and figure paintings. The north wall contains ten celestial musicians railings and draperies in the upper level a preaching scene of Sakyamuni and Prabhutaratna surrounded by the thousand Buddha motifs and attendants bhiksus and male donors in the lower level. The space above the entrance in the east wall contains ten celestial musicians railings and draperies. The north and south sides of the entrance wall are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs below which are donor figures chariots horses and grooms. At the junction of the lower parts of the four walls with the ground are all painted landscapes. On the ceiling of the corridor is a preaching scene painted in the Five Dynasties. The south wall of the corridor is covered with a Cintamani-cakra illustration together with six bhiksus and male donors in the lower section while the north wall is covered with a Amogha-pasa illustration with images of bhiksus and donors in the lower part all obscured. Thefour slopes of the ceiling in the front chamber contains seven Dhyana Buddhas painted in the Five Dynasties. The space above the entrance in the west wall contains an inscription flanked by a bodhisattva on either side. On the north side of the entrance is an attendant bodhisattva and a yaksha on the north side a preaching scene of the Maiatreya sutra and a row of donors in the lower part (alreadly obscured). On each of the south and north walls in the front chamber is an image of a heavenly king and the one on the north wall was partly damaged in the Qing dynasty when a hole was cut through the wall.
21 result,time:12ms,in total:3 page
1
2
3
History Search