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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
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
There are six apsaras on the niche beam, who are flying toward the central offerings. The north and south sides out of the niche are devoted to the Conception and the Great Departure respectively, both containing two bodhisattvas in the lower part. Beneath the niche are the offerings flanked by five bodhisattvas on either side.Each of the south and north walls are covered with a central preaching scene amid the thousand Buddha motifs. The south wall also depicts a row of female donors of the Early Tang (blurred) and the opposite north, a row of female donors of the Late Tang (blurred).The space above the entrance in the east wall is divided into the upper and lower sections. The upper is covered with the thousand Buddha motifs and there was a painting of seven Buddhas of the Early Tang in the lower part (destroyed when the corridor was renovated in the Late Tang). The corridor has a tent-like ceiling, which was rebuilt in the Late Tang. In the center is an illustration of the Medicine Buddha.
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
Constructed in the Early Tang and renovated in the Five Dynasties and Qing dynasty, this cave has a truncated pyramidal ceiling. In the ceiling center is a pattern of a large medallion composed of lotuses in the center, looking like a five-colored Dharma wheel, and it is surrounded by circles of various motifs such as the clouds, honeysuckles, flowers, triangles, and draperies.The four slopes each depict three apsaras flying around the center in a same direction. At the bottom are the thousand Buddha motifs. A niche is dug out of the west wall, containing a central seated Buddha flanked by two disciples and four bodhisattvas. All except the torso, costume and the diamond throne were renovated or painted in the Later Qing dynasty. On the two sides of the niche, the thousand Buddha motifs are painted in the upper and incarnated boys on lotuses are painted below. There is a desk with offerings on it and six bodhisattvas at the bottom of the west wall, most of which are blurred. The upper
Located on the upper level of the Southern Area at Mogao, this cave was constructed in the Late Sui dynasty and renovated in the Five Dynasties and Qing dynasty. Its main chamber is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The ceiling center features a pattern of lotuses and twisted vines, around it are draperies with triangular and pearled borders. The four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. There is a double-recessed niche in the west wall, containing a seven-figure group: a central Buddha seated with legs pendent, two disciples (already lost) and four bodhisattvas (renovated in the Qing dynasty). On the top of the niche are 12 flying apsaras in different positions. On the wall behind the Buddha statue is a nimbus of flames and incarnated boys flanked by nine bodhisattvas on either side. Below them are images of Vasistha and Mrgasirsa. The outer niche has a lintel decorated with flames and lotuses, which is divided into the upper and lower level by pearled
, 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
Constructed in the Late Tang, this is a hall cave with a truncated pyramidal ceiling and has been badly damaged. There is a tent-like niche in the west wall, in which the original statues have been damaged. There is is a pattern composed of a crossed vajra and a medallion on the niche top. The west slope in the niche has a picture of three seated Buddhas (only two preserved) and an incarnated boy, the other four slopes each have a picture of three seated Buddhas. The west, north and south walls in the niche are divided into a upper section and a lower section. All the upper section exhibit a picture of three seated Buddhas, but on the west wall only two are preserved. The lower sections are all covered with screen paintings. The four screen paintings on the west show six disciples, while the six screen paintings on both the north and the south walls each has a bodhisattva. The brim of the niche is decorated with vines and pomegranate mofits. Below the niche is a votive text, flanked
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