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0016 The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1
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doi: 10.20676/00000188
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to the text both of this publication and of the corresponding portion of Serindia. In meeting this obligation I realize fully the limitations of my competence. Though familiar with the iconography of Graeco-Buddhist art and of such remains of Buddhist art in Central Asia as I had the good fortune to bring to light myself, I had never found leisure for a systematic study of the religious art of the Far East or Tibet. There was enough in the archaeology of the sites I had explored through the whole length of the Tarim Basin and along the westernmost Marches of China and in the geography and history of those wide regions fully to occupy my attention. In addition, my want of Sinologue qualifications made itself sadly felt.

Fortunately I had taken special care to secure a sufficiently detailed description of all pictorial remains during the years of my renewed absence in Central Asia and those immediately following. This Descriptive List, now comprised in Serindia,7 was prepared mainly by the hand of Miss F. M. G. LORIMER, whose painstaking scholarly work as assistant at my British Museum collection has proved throughout a very valuable help. Besides M. Petrucci's interpretations there was embodied in it also much useful information received on artistic points from my friend and chief assistant Mr. F. H. ANDREWS, and on Chinese inscriptions from Dr. L. GILES and Mr. A. D. WALEY of the British Museum, as well as many helpful iconographic explanations kindly furnished by two Japanese experts, Professor TAKI and Mr. YABUKI. This Descriptive List made it possible for me to provide in Serindia a systematic review of all our pictorial relics from Tun-huang,8 and this in turn has greatly facilitated the preparation of the descriptive text for the present publication. For details which could not find mention in it reference to the chapters of Serindia already quoted will prove useful.

It only remains for me to add my grateful acknowledgements for the care which my friends Mr. F. H. Andrews, Mr. L. Binyon, and Mr. C. E. Freeman have been kind enough to bestow, whether on plates or on print, and to express the wish that the reception accorded to The Thousand Buddhas both in the West and the East may justify the hope which prompted the sacrifice incurred for their sake at a time of great strain and stress.



JUNE 2, 1921.

I See Serindia, Chapter xxv, section ii, pp. 937-1088.   8 See Serindia, Chapter xxttl, sections i-ix, pp. 831-94