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Constructed in the Jinglong era (707-710) namely the end of the Early Tang and the beginning of the High Tang this cave was constructed as the family temple by the Yin Family at Dunhuang. Part of the paintings was renovated in the Later Tang and the Five Dyansties and the statues were renovated in the Qing dynasty. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling which features a medallion pattern in the center enclosed by the twisted vines and draperies that extend to the four slopes covered with the thousand Buddha motifs (partly damaged). There is a niche with a flat entrance in the west wall housing a seated Buddha renovated in the Qing dynasty and painted images of four bodhisattvas and eight disciples. A bodhisattva is painted on each side of the niche. The south side of the adobe platform on the north side of the niche has an inscription with the portraits and titles of the Yin Family members Yin Ciqiong and Yin Ciwang. Inside the central frame on the south wall is a preaching scene in which Mt. Sumeru is painted in the upper with eight temple halls stand on it. The two sides and below the preaching scene are covered with more than 30 scenes of figures and buildings in the landscape context and each scene has one or several cartouches with unidentified words. The middle part below the preaching scene is a cartouche with some words identified. The lower parts show severe flaking and loss of paint. There is an alien-styled figure on the lower right side. Opinions about the contents of the murals differ: some consider it was executed according to the Lotus Sutra while some think it is based on the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra. We accept that the content is according to the USnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra. The whole north wall is covered with the Amitayus sutra illustration which consists of three parts: the pure land of Amitabha in the center the story between Binbisara and Ajatsatru on the west side and the Sixteen Meditations on the east side. The whole east wall is devoted to the illustration of the Universal Gate of the Lotus Sutra. Right above the entrance is a preaching scene of Sakyamuni on the Vulture Peak. The upper parts of the both sides of the entrance are used for scenes of Avalokitesvara saving people from disasters while the lower parts have images of the thirty-three manifestations of Avalokitesvara. Along the entrance on the north side is an image of bhiksu Hong Ren painted in the Five Dynasties. The tent-like ceiling of the corridor has two slopes containing the images of Ksitigabha and Ten Kings painted in the Later Tang. The front chamber was repainted in later dynasties and it is severely damaged.
of Maitreya under the dragon flower trees. The first assembly is under the preaching scene in the Tusita Heaven and the second and third are respectively painted on the left and right sides. The lower part of the north wall contains seventeen male donor figures. There are four preaching scenes in the space above the entrance wall. The north and south sides of the entrance wall respectively depict a preaching scene in the upper part and female and male donor figures in the middle. There is a row of donor figures and chariots drawn by oxen. The tent-like ceiling of the corridor has story paintings of the Five Dynasties in the center and five Buddhas in meditation on both slopes. On the south wall are three Buddhist monks and on the north a male donor figure. The ceiling of the front chamber is occupied by the illustrations of Amogha-pasa, thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara and Cintamani-cakra, all partly damaged, in the space above the entrance in the west wall
Constructed in the Sui dynasty and partly repainted in the Song and Western Xia dynasties this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling and a niche in each of the south west and north walls. This cave is also known as the Three-niche cave. The ceiling features laternendecke motifs and lotuses the center is a three-rabbit motif. In the corners of the motifs are boy-like apsaras and out of the corners are winged beasts. The outerframe of the square center is decorated with the patterns consisting of honeysuckles lions and connected pearls. More outside are draperies extending to the four slopes where large-sized sutra illustration are depicted. Each scene is separated by the trees flowers temples fountains or lotus ponds and clouds. However the density and discolor of these paintings on the four slopes make it very hard to decipher therefore opinions about the contents of the four slopes differ. There are mainly two opinions: 1. they are painted according to the Lotus Sutra and 2. they are painted based on the Lotus Sutra and the Nirvana Sutra. This description accepts the first opinion. The west niche has a double-recessed entrance with a square bottom and an arch top housing a seven-figure group: a seated Buddha two disciples four bodhisattvas. There upper of the two sides out of the niche is devoted to the Vimalakirti sutra illustration the image of Vimalakirti on the south and that of Manjusri on the north. Below them are five disciples and four bodhisattvas. On the lower part of the west wall are pictures of the offerings and bodhisattvas painted in the Song dynasty. Both the south and north walls have a square shallow niche in the center housing the statues of a seated Buddha and two bodhisattvas. There are several marks of sovatthika (meaning auspicious) on the lower brim of the kasaya. Around the niche are thousand Buddha motifs. below the niche are bodhisattvas painted in the Song dynasty. There is a preaching scene on the space above the entrance 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 medallion motifs beneath which are the Sui dynasty paintings. There is a small niche dug out of the space above the entrance in the west wall which contains paintings of bodhisattvas and flowers. Out of the niche is a temple image. There are two preaching scenes on the upper part of both the south and north sides of the entrance and there are vague paintings of donor figures below the preaching scenes. On the north and south walls are part of the draperies and halos. There are donor figures of the Song dynasty beneath the top layer of the paintings.
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
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
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
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