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DUNHUANG ART


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Cave Nos. [ 1 - 50   |  51 - 100  |  101 - 150  |  151 - 200  |  201 - 250 ]

[ 251 - 300   |  301 - 350  |  351 - 400  |  401 - 450  |  451 - 492 ]


A Glimpse of the Mogao Caves

Cave No. 451

Period of Construction: Sui (renovated in Song).

Contents: The niche on the west wall has halos and floating clouds. Miniature Buddhas drawn in Sui are on the north side outside the niche.

Cave No. 452

Period of Construction: Song.

Contents: The ceiling of the niche on the west wall has a painting of backscreen flanked by eight disciples. All these are damaged. The south and north walls illustrate Amit¡bha-S£tra and BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra respectively.

Cave No. 453

Period of Construction: Sui Dynasty.

Contents: The inner layer of the niche on the west wall shows halos. The north wall features miniature Buddhas which are damaged partially.

Cave No. 454

Period of Construction: Song (renovated during Qing).

Contents: Ante-room: The west slope of the ceiling carries a damaged portrait of Maµju¿r¢. Above the entrance of the west wall is a niche, drawn inside it are three pictures of Avalokite¿vara flanked by pictures of Maµju¿r¢ and Samantabhadra. To the north and south of the entrance are the Buddhas of the ten directions attending sermon; below them is Vai¿rava¸a attending Nata’s sermon. The top portion of the south wall shows Buddhas of the ten directions attending sermon. The lower portion of the wall is blurred.

Corridor: Traces of the history of Buddhism can be seen in the centre of the ceiling; the north and south slopes feature sixteen auspicious symbols. Seven male donors from the Cao family figure in a row on the south wall; seen behind them are three attendants. Painted in a row on the north wall are eight male donors; attendants are seen behind them.

Main Hall: Above the central Buddha platform are statues of twelve figures of issue-giving goddesses cast in Qing. The west, south and north sides show rockery and a six-panel screen with birds and flowers. The caisson ceiling shows damaged coiled dragons in the centre; the east slope illustrates the Maitreya-S£tra and south and west slopes illustrate the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra and the St£pa Sandarsana parivartana, while the north slope illustrates the Avatamsaka S£tra. On the south wall, west-east- wards are the illustrations of the La¸k¡vat¡ra-S£tra, the Amit¡yus-S£tra, S£tra for Redemption from Indebtedness and Devat¡-S£tra. The west wall illustrates the fight between S¡riputra and Raudr¡kÀa. Below this scene is the description of the story of Prince Sudh¡na and Buddhist commentaries. On the north wall west-eastwards are illustrations of the S£tra of á¡kyamuni mastering the dh¡ran¢s, Vi¿eÀacint¡brahma-parip¤cch¡-S£tra and BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra flanked by the nine inauspicious deaths and twelve great vows. Below these s£tra illustrations are screens painted with Buddhist commentaries. Below the illustration of the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra are seven female donors; an illustration of the Suvar¸a-prabh¡sa-S£tra; below this illustration are six donors. Above the entrance of the east wall are illustrations of Buddhaloka from the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra. To the south and north are illustrations of the Vimalak¢rti-nirde¿a-S£tra with one side showing Vimalak¢rti and the other showing Maµju¿r¢. Below are depicted the King of Khotan along with six donors and princess of Uighur along with six donors and two bhikÀun¢s.

Cave No. 455

Period of Construction: Sui Dynasty.

Contents: The inner layer of the niche on the west wall shows halos. On both sides of the west wall on the outer layer are the niche lintels; the niche column has damaged paintings. Each of the north and south walls features four disciples.

Cave No. 456

Period of Construction: Sui (renovated in Song).

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling depicts the Peacock King drawn in Song; both the north and south slopes feature three cross-legged sitting Buddhas.

Main Hall: On the east and west slopes of the ceiling are paintings of Buddhas of the ten directions attending sermon. The ceiling of the niche on the west wall is covered by chess-board and four-petalled flower designs. The east slope features two flying figures while the north, south and west slopes have twelve portraits of sitting Buddha. The north wall illustrates the Suvar¸a-prabh¡sa-S£tra drawn in Song. The lower layer is painted with miniature Buddhas drawn in Sui. Above the entrance of the east wall is a portrait of flower-holding Avalokite¿vara; to the north and south are the portraits of KÀitigarbha and eight-armed Avalokite¿vara respectively.

Cave No. 457

Period of Construction: Sui (renovated in Song).

Contents: The ceiling of the niche on the west wall displays floral patterns in the centre; the north, south and west slopes are covered by decorative hangings. The lower layer of the south wall has a painting belonging to Sui; the surface layer shows a damaged painting drawn in Song.

Cave No. 458

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated in Western Xia).

Contents: The west wall niche shelters statues of a cross-legged sitting Buddha, two each of disciples, bodhisattvas, devar¡jas and bodhisattvas sculpted in High Tang. Outside the niche, on the upper portion of the north side of the platform is a statue of heavenly animal. Further away on the south there are fragments of High Tang paintings, and that of BhaiÀajyaguru painted in Western xia on the north. Preaching scenes drawn in Western Xia are described on the north wall.

Cave No. 459

Period of Construction: Late Tang (renovated in Song).

Contents: The niche on the west wall houses statues of a damaged Buddha, two disciples, one bodhisattva and one devar¡ja cast in Late Tang and two damaged statues cast in Song. The south wall illustrates the LaÆk¡vat¡ra-S£tra drawn in Late Tang. The north wall has remnants of a corner of the illustration of the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra.

Cave No. 460

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated in Western Xia).

Contents: Ante-room: Art designs of flames and lotus painted in Western Xia are seen on the ceiling. Only five of the seven Buddhas drawn in Western Xia are seen above the entrance of the west wall. To the south of the entrance are Maµju¿r¢ and a bodhisattva. To the north is Samantabhadra. The south wall features a flying figure which is partially damaged. All these are drawn in Western Xia.

Corridor: The centre of the ceiling shows flowers and clouds; the north and south slopes are covered by decorative hangings. The paintings were drawn in Western Xia.

Main Hall: The east slope of the ceiling shows the chess-board and floral designs in a corner, the south slope is painted with chess-board and floral patterns, decorative hangings and six flying figures, the west slope is adorned with decorative hangings and two flying figures and the north slope is covered by the chess-board and floral patterns, decorative hangings and a flying figure. The platform on the west wall has statues of the sitting Buddha, two each of disciples, bodhisattvas and devar¡jas cast in High Tang; on the west side below the platform are lotus and phoenix bird. The upper portion of the west wall shows canopy of bodhi-ratna, flying figures, halo and flowers. A preaching scene is featured on the west side of the upper portion of the north and south walls; below it on both the walls is a bodhisattva. The upper portion of the east side illustrates the Sukh¡vat¢-S£tra drawn in Western Xia; below this drawn inside the bottle- shaped door is a flaming pearl. To the south of the entrance on the east wall is a preaching scene and the thousand-armed and eyed Avalokite¿vara, and below this inside the bottle- shaped door is a flaming pearl. The north side also has a preaching scene and thousand-armed Maµju¿r¢ with thousand bowls. Inside the bottle- shaped door is a flaming pearl. All these are of Western Xia.

Cave No. 461

Period of Construction: Western Wei.

Contents: The centre of the caisson ceiling shows four lotus flowers; the four slopes are painted with decorative hangings. The centre of the west slope is painted with the ma¸i and pearl, on either side are two musicians. The south slope has four flying figures and musicians and the north slope shows five musicians. Celestial palace railings and walls are drawn at a lower level on the north, south and west slopes. The upper portion of the west wall is painted with decorative hangings, and the middle portion has á¡kyamuni and Prabh£taratna. The lintel of the niche depicts the story of Samaka and below it are drawn a throne, a male and three female donors; to the north and south are the altar columns tied with silk, five Buddhist disciples and two bodhisattvas. The north and south walls are covered by miniature Buddhas and below them is a border design.

Cave No. 462

Period of Construction: Yuan Dynasty.

Contents: The upper portion of the west wall shows impressions of statues, the lower portion has a damaged Buddha throne, chestnut lines and lotus designs, on the lower portion of the eastern side of the north wall are four donors.

Cave No. 463

Period of Construction: Yuan Dynasty.

Contents: The ceiling has lotus designs in the centre. Figures of five Buddhas and three bodhisattvas are painted on the upper portion of the west wall; the south wall features a portrait of Maµju¿r¢, the top portion shows three disciples, the middle portion a monk, two donors, a lion and a slave. The north wall displays Samantabhadra and three female donors. Above the entrance on the east wall are the tantric designs and both the north and south sides of the entrance have four-armed vajras.

Cave No. 464

Period of Construction: Western Xia (renovated in Yuan).

Contents: Ante-room: A corner of the south slope of the ceiling is covered by miniature Buddhas. The north and south walls feature narrative paintings. The west end was sealed during Yuan. Paintings in this room belong to the Yuan.

Corridor: Miniature Buddhas cover the ceiling; the lower layer has a mural drawn during Western Xia. The north and south walls have portraits of four bodhisattvas.

Main Hall: The centre of the caisson ceiling shows the figure of a cross-legged sitting Buddha; the four slopes have the portrait of a sitting Buddha each. The west wall shows an eight-panel screen with figures of Buddha, disciples, devar¡jas with Indra preaching in the centre painted on the panels. The south wall has a six-panel screen with depictions of á¡kya king, vajras, devar¡jas and disciples in the centre preaching the dharma. The north wall also shows a six-panel screen with figures of Buddha, dev¡s, devar¡jas and Indra in the centre preaching the dharma. Above the entrance on the east wall is inscribed the six-word mantra. To the north and south of the entrance is an inscription in Mongolian script. On the south side of the entrance at the lower level are patterns drawn in Western Xia.

Cave No. 465

Period of Construction: Yuan Dynasty.

Contents: Ante-room: Above the entrance on the west wall is the image of a bodhisattva. Painted on the north and south sides of the entrance is pagoda. The north and south walls also feature pagodas.

Corridor: The ceiling shows floating clouds; the north and south walls are painted with peony flowers.

Main Hall: The caisson ceiling has a portrait of Mah¡vairocana; the east slope has AkÀobhya Buddha, the south Ratnasambhava Buddha. On the west slope is Amit¡yus Buddha and on the north is Amoghasiddhi. The north, south and west walls have illustrations of three mandalas. Above the entrance on the east wall are figures of five vajras and four donor bhikÀus. To the south of the entrance is a mandala depiction showing three groups of mule kings and four flame throwing children and below this a six-panel screen, to the north of the entrance is a mandala and 24 Vin¡yakas.

Cave No. 466

Period of Construction: Tang Dynasty.

Contents: This cave is located below Cave No. 47 and was discovered in 1948. All the murals are destroyed.

Cave No. 467

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties and Song).

Contents: Corridor: The ceiling shows flower clusters in the centre. The lower layer has a damaged painting drawn in the Five Dynasties. The north and south slopes are covered by decorative hangings; the lower level features cross-legged sitting Buddhas drawn during the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: The ceiling shows coiled dragon designs in the centre; the four slopes are painted with circular lines, chess-board patterns and the floral motifs. The ceiling of the niche on the west wall has floral motifs in the centre; the four slopes are painted with decorative hangings. The north and south walls have decorative hangings on the upper part, miniature Buddhas in the middle portion; the lower portion is blurred. The space above the entrance on the east wall is covered by decorative hangings, with miniature Buddhas below and the lower layer reveals a preaching scene drawn in the Five Dynasties. On the north and south sides of the entrance are miniature Buddhas.

This cave was discovered in 1946.

Cave No. 468

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: Ante-room: The ceiling is painted with miniature Buddhas. Above the entrance of the west wall is an invocation inscribed during the Five Dynasties. On the north and south sides of the entrance are portraits of Vajra warriors, one to a side. The top portion of the south wall displays a painting drawn in the Five Dynasties and the lower portion shows three male donors. The top portion of the north wall features a mural of the Five Dynasties while the lower part shows three female donors.

Corridor: The ceiling shows a sitting Bodhisattva drawn in the Five Dynasties.

Main Hall: The centre of caisson ceiling has three rabbits (joining as one) and a lotus design; the four slopes are painted with decorative hangings and garlands; the west slope illustrates the chapters from the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra; the two corners have the Chapter on Universal Gate of Avalokite¿vara; the north and south slopes illustrate the thirty-three manifestations in the Chapter on the Universal Gate of Avalokite¿vara from the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra. The east slope illustrates chapter of St£pa sandarsana parivartana of the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra while the two corners have the Chapter on Universal Gate. The niche on the west wall houses statues of a bodhisattva and two disciples cast in Middle Tang. The south wall illustrates the Amit¡yur-dhy¡na-S£tra drawn in the Five Dynasties with the sixteen meditations on the east side and Aj¡ta¿atru on the west. The north wall illustrates the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra, the east and west sides show scenes from the nine inauspicious deaths and twelve great vows respectively and below this illustration is a throne. Above the entrance on the east wall are male and female donors drawn in the Five Dynasties. To the south of the entrance is a preaching scene of the Five Dynasties and below this is a portrait of Amoghap¡¿a Avalokite¿vara; further below it is a throne. To the north of the entrance is a preaching scene drawn in the Five Dynasties, below it is the portrait of Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara; further below it is a throne.

Cave No. 469

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: Corridor: The east and west walls feature portraits of Bodhisattva Mah¡sth¡mapr¡pta and Avalokite¿vara respectively.

This cave was discovered in 1952 and is south-facing.

Cave No. 470

Period of Construction: Late Tang (renovated in Song).

Contents: The west slope of the ceiling is covered by miniature Buddhas having a cross-legged sitting Buddha in the centre; the south slope shows partially damaged miniature Buddhas; the north slope displays miniature Buddhas, floral motifs and decorative hangings. The ceiling of the niche on the west wall has floral designs in the centre; on the four slopes are eleven standing Buddhas and two bodhisattvas. The south wall illustrates two s£tras; the west corner has a portrait of the thousand-armed and thousand-eyed Avalokite¿vara. Below are male and female donors drawn in Song. The north wall illustrates two s£tras. On the south side of the entrance on the east wall is a damaged painting of female donors drawn in Song.

Cave No. 471

Period of Construction: Middle Tang.

Contents: The ceiling in the main hall is peeling off. The niche on the west wall exhibits chess-board and floral designs in the centre; the four slopes have portraits of thirteen BhaiÀajyaguru Buddhas and four bodhisattvas. On the south wall west-eastwards is the illustration of Amit¡bha-S£tra, on the north wall west-eastwards are the damaged illustrations of BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra and Avatamsaka-S£tra. Painted above the entrance of the east wall are male donors; to the north is the portrait of Cint¡ma¸i-Cakra Avalokite¿vara.

This cave was discovered in 1953.

Cave No. 472

Period of Construction: Middle Tang.

Contents: The west slope of the niche on the west wall contains a standing Buddha and an Aupap¡daka, the north, south and east slopes have an incomplete painting each. The south wall illustrates the Saddharma-pu¸·ar¢ka-S£tra. The upper portion of the north wall painted with floral motifs and the border designs is damaged. The middle portion illustrates the Avatamsaka-S£tra. To the south of the entrance on the east wall is the Avalokite¿vara-S£tra, below it is a cross-legged sitting bodhisattva and the north side also illustrates the Avalokite¿vara-S£tra.

Cave No. 473

Period of Construction: Late Tang.

Contents: On the top portion of the west wall of the niche on the west wall are floral motifs and decorative hangings, and below these is a two-panel screen; the middle portion features halo. The top portion of the north and south walls has floral motifs and decorative hangings; below these is a two-panel screen. The south wall illustrates the Amit¡yus-S£tra, on the west side are the sixteen meditations; the north wall illustrates the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra, the twelve great vows are on the west side.

Cave No. 474

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated in the Five Dynasties).

Contents: The north, south and west slopes are covered by miniature Buddhas drawn in Middle Tang having a preaching scene in the centre. The niche on the west wall shows chess-board and floral designs painted in Middle Tang. The east slope has six sitting Buddhas, a bodhisattva, and an Aupap¡daka; the south and north slopes have three sitting Buddhas, a bodhisattva and an Aupap¡daka; the west slope has six sitting Buddhas and two bodhisattvas, all drawn in Middle Tang. There are s£tra-illustrations on the south wall; the north wall illustrates the BhaiÀajyaguru-S£tra; both these are drawn in the Five Dynasties.

This cave was excavated in 1953.

Cave No. 475

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: The south wall features a damaged painting, below are donors drawn in the Five Dynasties. The north wall features a damaged preaching scene; below it is a painting of donors drawn in the same period.

Cave No. 476

Period of Construction: The Five Dynasties.

Contents: On the north side of the west wall are four bhik¦us.

Cave No. 477

Period of Construction: Renovated in Yuan Dynasty.

Contents: Horse-hoof shaped Buddha platform in the centre; drawn inside the bottle-shaped door are a flaming pearl and partially damaged floral motifs on the ceiling. The top portions of the north, south and west walls are covered by floral designs. The middle portion of these walls shows damaged statues.

Cave No. 478

Period of Construction: Middle Tang (renovated in Song).

Contents: The niche on the west wall has floral designs drawn in Song. The north wall displays s£tra-illustrations drawn in Middle Tang which are partially damaged.

This cave was excavated in 1957.

Cave No. 479

Period of Construction: Middle Tang.

Contents: The west and south corners of the niche on the west wall reveal decorative hangings. The north wall has a preaching scene while south and east walls have damaged paintings.

Cave No. 480

Period of Construction: Not known.

Contents: The west wall of the niche on the west wall shows a damaged halo.

This cave was excavated in 1957.

Cave No. 481

Period of Construction: Not known.

Contents: The niche on the west wall has traces of halo.

Cave No. 482

Period of Construction: High Tang.

Contents: The niche on the west wall houses a set of five Buddha statues; outside the niche on the two sides of the platform are statues of two warriors. The paintings on the north and south walls are damaged.

Cave No. 483

Period of Construction: High Tang (renovated during the Five Dynasties).

Contents: The niche on the west wall has a damaged Buddha statue. The decorative hangings on the south wall are damaged.

This cave was excavated in 1957.

Cave No. 484

Period of Construction: High Tang.

Contents: The caisson ceiling in the main hall has floral designs; the south and west slopes have a damaged painting of miniature Buddhas. The south and west walls have a damaged painting drawn in Middle Tang.

Cave No. 485

Period of Construction: Not known.

Contents: There are three niches on the west wall. This cave is above Cave No. 83, and below Cave No. 84.

Cave No. 486

Period of Construction: Not known.

Contents: This is actually Cave No. 485. There was a mistake of counting the same cave as two different caves.

Cave No. 487

Period of Construction: Not known.

Contents: There are three niches on the south wall and four on the north wall, all the niches are damaged. This cave is below Cave No. 467 and was probably renovated in Northern Wei.

Cave No. 488

Period of Construction: Not known (renovated probably before Tang).

Contents: There is a small rectangular niche on the top portion of the north wall near the east slope of the ceiling.

Cave No. 489

Period of Construction: Not known.

Contents: There is a small niche near the ceiling on the north wall. This cave is below Cave No. 481.

Cave No. 490

Period of Construction: High Tang.

Contents: The centre of the caisson ceiling has been damaged. The north, south and west slopes show floral designs and decorative hangings. While the west slope is covered with miniature Buddhas, the north and south slopes are covered by miniature Buddhas that are damaged. The west wall shows a damaged portrait of Buddha, disciples and head of bodhisattva. The north wall has a disciple and the head of a bodhisattva.

Cave No. 491

Period of Construction: Western Xia.

Contents: This cave was discovered in 1965. Initially there was a Buddha statue in padm¡sana and statues of two devakany¡s (some think that they are female donors). These are now stored in the Dunhuang Academy of Cultural Relics.

Cave No. 492

Period of Construction: High Tang.

Contents: This cave is locatd on the south, outside Cave No. 54. On the wall inside the niche there are fragments of sculptures in relief.

Compiled by Bagyalakshmi and B.R. Deepak

Note: All the identifications mentioned above are according to the research of the

Dunhuang Academy unless otherwise specified.   ---Editor

 

Cave Nos. [ 1 - 50   |  51 - 100  |  101 - 150  |  151 - 200  |  201 - 250 ]

[ 251 - 300   |  301 - 350  |  351 - 400  |  401 - 450  |  451 - 492 ]

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