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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
The date of construction is not clear and it is supposed that this cave was constructed in the Early Tang period. This cave consists of the front chamber with a gabled ceiling, which partly survives, and the main chamber which is square in plan with a truncated pyramidal ceiling. The themes of the murals are mainly Buddhist historical stories. The painted statues were renovated in the Five Dynasties, Western Xia and the Qing dynasty. The ceiling center depicts a large medallion surrounded by the draperies which extend to the four slopes, and the four slopes are covered with the thousand Buddha motifs. There is a niche with a flat ceiing in the west wall, which contains a five-stucco grouping, all renovated in the Qing dynasty. The central figure in the niche is The Buddha seated with legs pendent, flanked by two disciples, two bodhisattvas who stand on a lotus throne. On the ceiling of the niche is a parasol with Bodhi trees and two apsaras. The wall is covered with the mountains
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
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