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0048 The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1
The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1 / Page 48 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000188
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to the outer edge of the brow. The thinner cheeks and more natural proportion of the features give to the face a distinct individuality which those of the conventional semi-feminine Bodhisattvas lack. The expression is meditative and remote, the pose graceful and dignified at the same time. The right hand is raised in the vitarka-mudrâ at the breast with a willow spray between the thumb and fingers ; the left hanging by the side holds the flask and a twining spray with pink flowers.

The attire and head-dress are of the conventional style associated with the Bodhisattva type which has above been designated as ` Chinese '. The Dhyâni-buddha Amitâbha is shown on the front of the tiara, which is a simple circlet ornamented with flaming jewels and long tassels at the ears. The hair done in double-leaf form appears above it. Instead of the under-robe a light red scarf is thrown over the breast. A stole of grey and olive green, much faded, clings to shoulders and upper arms and is festooned across the front of the figure. From the waist descends the skirt, apparently brown.

In the right lower corner appear two small figures kneeling and holding lotus buds. They represent evidently donors, a boy and a girl. The way in which their hair is dressed, the boys parted and tied in a double bunch on either side of the head and the girl's parted and tied behind, is not usual in our paintings. The plain long-sleeved robes covering the figures from neck to feet afford no clue to the dating.



THE Bodhisattva of Mercy presents himself again, standing and without attendants, in the two silk paintings which this Plate reproduces on the scale of two-fifths of the originals. In both the portion of the figure below the knees is lost. The painting on the left (Ch. xxii. 0030) shows a good example of the Bodhisattva type which above we have referred to as ` Chinese ', executed with much skill and refinement.

Avalokitegvara, facing three-fourths to the right, raises the willow spray in his right hand, while the left at the waist carries the flask. The movement shown in the tassels of the canopy above the halo suggests that the figure was intended as walking ; it is drawn particularly soft and full. The low forehead, full cheeks, small mouth and chin, and oblique eyes under highly arched eyebrows are characteristic of the type. The hair is black and descends in a love-lock by the ear. In front of the tasselled tiara stands the Dhyâni-buddha Amitâbha with the right hand raised in the pose of ` Protection '. Above the skirt, which forms an overfall at the waist, is shown an under-robe rising only to the breasts. A stole of fine dull blue forms the chief note of colour in the picture. The jewellery is elaborate and plentifully studded with pale pink stones. The cartouche to the right is filled with a Chinese inscription containing a salutation to Kuan-yin.

In the other painting (Ch. lvi. oo16) Avalokiteévara is shown facing three-fourths to the left with both arms raised from the elbows. His hands here, too, hold willow spray and flask, but in reversed order. The upper portion of the head is lost ; what remains of the features, including the eyes fixed in a straight gaze to the front, shows delicate drawing. The flesh is white shaded with pink. Over a crimson under-robe and orange-red skirt descends in ample folds a stole of olive green. To the usual heavy jewellery is added a small string of beads round the neck. The workmanship is clean and sure.