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0050 The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1
The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1 / Page 50 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000188
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and almost level, but with a finely recurved line added to the eyelids. The flesh is white shaded with red.

Over a long orange skirt, draped in conventional folds, the Bodhisattva wears a short and tight over-skirt of Indian red, sprinkled with blue and white rosettes. Over it is festooned a narrow cord-like band hanging in loops and streamers by the sides. The costume is completed by an olive-green girdle, a red scarf across the breast, and a narrow stole of dark chocolate colour descending from about the arms to the feet. The richly jewelled ornaments agree in general type with those seen on the four ` Indian ' Bodhisattvas of Plate xvi, but the Dhyani-buddha is absent from the tiara. The slate-blue outer border of the nimbus is ornamented with a ring of ` enclosed palmettes' in blue and white, as often seen elsewhere in Bodhisattva haloes.



IN both the silk paintings which this Plate reproduces on the scale of three-sevenths, we see Avalokite§vara represented in ` Indian ' style and beside or below him the donors. In the picture on the left (Ch. liv. oo6) the figure of the standing Bodhisattva is treated on very formal lines, typical of the ` Indian ' style already repeatedly mentioned, and the colouring in bright crude tints solidly laid on is equally characteristic. Apart from the hieratic stiffness of the whole figure and pose it will suffice to call attention to such peculiar features as the narrow band descending from the head-dress to the knees and festooned in front of the body, and the loose locks of hair which hang over the shoulders. The hair is painted ultramarine, the flesh white and shaded with vermilion. The eyebrows raised disproportionately high over the almost straight eyes are, as often elsewhere, shown green. Avalokite§vara stands on a large scarlet and white lotus which floats on a lake or stream. Behind him on green land is shown a row of tall bamboos filling the background.

To the left of the Bodhisattva appears standing the figure of the nun whom one of the Chinese inscriptions names as the donatrix, with a date corresponding to A.D. 910 45 She wears a wide-sleeved yellow under-robe with flowered band across her breast and a purplish-brown mantle. Her close-cropped hair is shown in ultramarine, and her hands carry a censer. Opposite to her stands a boy offering a scarlet lotus on a dish ; he wears a long-skirted dark brown coat slit at the side and showing wide white trousers underneath. M. Petrucci recognizes in him the nun's defunct younger brother, whom the dedicatory inscription associates with her votive gift.

The picture on the right (Ch. xl. 008) is in perfect condition and represents Avalokite§vara, six-armed and seated, together with side scenes and donors. His upper hands hold up discs emblematic of the Sun and Moon, showing a three-legged bird and a tree respectively ; the middle hands are raised on either side of the breast in the vitarka-mudrâ, while the lower hands with rosary and flask rest on the knees. In front of him is placed a small draped altar with flasks and a covered dish. The Bodhisattva's figure, within the limitations imposed by the conventional treatment, is very carefully drawn and the colouring well preserved and unusual. It consists mainly of terra-cotta red on the garments (excepting the stole, which is very dark brownish olive), and of white shaded with light pink on the flesh. A harsh yellow is used for the jewellery, while the ground throughout is left in the dark greenish-brown of the silk.

Down the sides are shown, in animated and expressive drawing of purely Chinese style, scenes representing Calamities from which Avalokitegvara miraculously saves his

45 See M. Petrucci's explanations in Serindia, p. 1397. The other two inscriptions seem to contain metrical invocations of the all-merciful Kuan-yin.