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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
Constructed in the Yuan dynasty (A.D.1279-1368), this is a small hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling whose center in bas relief is a design of four painted dragons (the central part is damaged) . The four slopes are covered with connected fountain patterns (those on the east slope are partially lost and those on the north and south slopes are blurred); and the west niche contains an eight-armed Avalokitesvara of the Qing dynasty. In the center of the south wall is a standing eleven-headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara. Each of the upper corners is filled with an apsara. The east side of the central Avalokitesvara has an image of Indra above a seated deva and the opposite west side has a seated deva above Brahma. In the center of the north wall is a standing eleven-headed thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokitesvara. The east side of the central image depicts Vasistha above the images of a three-headed and six-armed guarding warrior and pig-headed
The construction of this middle sized hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling was prior to the tenth year of Xiantong in the Late Tang (869) and it was renovated in the Five Dynasties.There is an ink inscription on the east wall above the entrance, which reads: "Spondored by Monk Suoyi, a Buddhist official from the Jinguangming Temple." There are altogether 10 sutra illustrations in the main chamber. The south and north sides out of the west niches repectively depict the illustrations of Samantabhadra and Manjusri. The upper part of the south wall is filled with the illustrations of the Lotus sutra, the Amitayur-dhyana Sutra, and the Maitreya sutra from west to east. The upper part of the north wall is filled with the Garland Sutra, Sutra of the Medicine Buddha, Sutra on the Questions of Devas, and The north and south of the entrance in the east wall are respectively the illustration of Vimalakirti sutra and Panikarasuttau sutra. The spaces below the illustrations on the south
Constructed between the fifth year of Dazhong era and the third year of Xiantong era (851-862), this cave served as a memorial cave for Hong Bian, a Monastic Official in Hexi region in the Late Tang dynasty. It is located in the north wall of the corridor of Cave 16 and was discovered by Taoist priest Wang Yuanlu who lived at Mogao in the 26th year of Guangxu era of the Qing dynsty (1900). It is called the Library Cave because there were over 50,000 cultural relics including Buddhist scriptures, social documents, silk paintings, embroideries, and Buddist utensils dating back to the fourth to the fourteenth centuries. The cave is square in plan with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. There are no murals on the four slopes or the ceiling center. An octangular altar is built in front of the north wall, on which a statue of the monk, Hong Bian sits. The west wall contains a stele recording that Hong Bian was appointed the highest Buddhist official in Hexi region in the fifth year of Dazhong
Located in the middle section of the Southern Area of Mogao, this cave was constructed in the High Tang and renovated in the Middle Tang and Five Dynasties. The main chamber has a truncated pyramidal ceiling with a large lotus pattern in the ceiling center. Four illustrations of the Maitreya sutra, the Universal Gate of the Avalokitesvara sutra, the Amitabha sutra and the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra are respectively painted on the west, south, north and east slopes. The west niche has a grouping of seven -stucco figures renovated in the Qing dynasty. The stories start on the north wall, then continue on the east wall and end on the south wall. All represent the episodes in the Lotus Sutra. The corridor has a flat ceiling, on which part of the illustration of Defeating Mara has survived. Those paintings of the Five Dynasties on the south wall of the corridor are about the god of the sun in uncertain Esoteric Buddhist scriptures, and the others are all damaged. Part of the thousand
Located on the middle section of the Southern area of Mogao, constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Late Tang, this is a hall cave of medium size with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling cener highlight a pattern of two coiled dragon and lotuses with draperies extending to the four slopes. There are asparas flying around the central design (sootiness), and the thousand Buddha motif on the four slopes are black due to sootiness.There west niche with a double-recessed entrance contains a seven-figure group of statues: a seated Buddha, two disciples, and four bodhisatvas (one lost). The walls in the inner niche are decorated with an aureole of flame motifs, halos, and on both sides are a disciple and an apsara. The top of the outer niche is a niche beam decorated with flames and lotuses, and there is an apsara on either side. The west wall in the niche contain a niche pillar and a pensive bodhisattva, while the north and south walls respectively show a bodhisattva.
in the northwest, and Vaisravana in the northeast recess. On the south, north, and east walls are eleven sutra illustration altogether and below these illustrations are Buddha's life stories and donor figures. The whole west wall is covered with a large-sized map of Mt Wutai (13 meters long and 3.6 meters high). On the upper part of each sidewall are five sutra illustrations, below them are thirty-three screen paintings illustrating Buddha's life stories. There are also tens of donor figures of the Cao family and inscriptions preserved on the east, north and south walls. The statues on the central altar are completely destroyed, only the traces of the paws of a lion can be seen on the back screen on which traces of some images are visible. On the upper part of the east wall is a Vimalakirti sutra illustration and below are donor figures. On the ceiling of the corridor is a six-fold medallion pattern with draperies on the two slopes. On the south and north walls of the corridor are images
in bas relief (renovated in the Qing dynasty) which is connected with the landscape in the murals on the south and north sides out of the niche. Above the niche are Buddhas and clouds. A Buddha seated in meditation was painted below the niche in the Western Xia. Underliying this layer are remains of murals of the Early Tang and the Five dynasties.The upper section of the south wall is decorated with the Thousand-Buddha motif, and the middle section is covered with three stories of Buddhist history from the west side to the east side, 1. Two Stone Buddha's floating on the River in the Western Jin Dynasty, 2. a Golden Image Appearing from the River in Yangzhou in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and 3. Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty Welcoming Master Tanyan. The lower section has images of seven Bodhisattvas. The upper part of the north wall is covered with the Thousand Buddha motif, and on the middle part are five stories of Buddhist history from west to east: 1. Emperor Wu of the Western Han
part of the south wall presents an illustration of the Amitabha sutra, in which the pavilions and platforms are separated by green water and the buildings are connected by various bridges. Amitabha is in the center, and on the platforms on both sides of Amitabha are groups of bodhisattvas respectively led by Avalokitesvara or Mahasthamaprapta. On the platform below the central Buddha are bodhisattvas, disciples, and music and dance scenes. In the pond there are different magic birds including Kalavinka.The lower part of the south wall depicts three Buddhist nuns and twenty-three female donor figures. The upper part of the north wall is occupied with an illustration of the Amitabha sutra (two pieces were taken away by Langdon Warner), which was divided into two sections from top down. The center of the upper section shows a preaching scene of Maitreya Bodhisattva in Tusita Heaven based on The Sutra of Maitreya's Rebirth up in the Heaven. The other parts show the three Assemblies
borders. The upper one contains a Mani Pearl with flames, and the lower one has a seated bodhisattva. On both sides are lotuses with twisted stems. On the The top of the ceiling are six apsaras, while on the two side parts are dragon-headed niche beam and lotus-decorated niche pillars. The south and north sides out of the niche are divided into three levels, one above another respectively for heavenly palaces, seven seated Buddhas, and male, female donors and attendants from top down. On the top of the four walls are apsaras leaning against the railings of heavenly palaces. The south wall is divided into three levels from top down respectively ; Upper with ten musician apsaras and fifteen seated Buddhas, a central preaching scene of Avalokitesvara flanked by 18 dhyana Buddhas, and lower with 26 female donors in high-waist skirts of the Sui dynasty and nine donor figures of the Five Dynasties. The north wall is also divided into three levels: Upper with ten apsaras leaning against
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