National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0057 The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1
The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1 / Page 57 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000188
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text



out to the waist ; in the freedom and movement imparted to the drawing mainly by the treatment of the flowing drapery ; and in some minor peculiarities of armour and dress. Though Viriipâksa's face is quiet, without any distortion such as usually imparts a grotesque look to the Lokapâlas of the ` Chinese ' group, we note the oblique cut of the eyes which is peculiar to it, as well as other Chinese features.

The rich armour and dress with which the Guardians of the World are always depicted and the manifold variations in their details are obviously of considerable antiquarian interest and have been fully discussed elsewhere." The painting in our Plate illustrates them with particular clearness. Virilpâksa's head is covered by a helmet made of scale-armour and strengthened with leather bands and a wide leather brim curling up at ear-level. That the scales represented on the helmet and elsewhere are meant for scales of lacquered hard leather is made highly probable by actual scale-armour remains of this kind brought to light by my excavations at sites in the Taklamakàn and Lop deserts.58 A lotus-shaped spike is fixed on the top with a recurved gold stem in front, supporting a plume. Beneath the helmet comes a gorget, apparently also of scale-armour, descending on to the shoulders.

From there down to the hips the body is protected by a coat of mail, made of round-edged scales overlapping downwards as far as the waist-belt and of oblong scales laced sideways beyond it. A strong corslet, supported by straps from the shoulders and fitted with ornamented metal discs over the breasts, is fastened across the chest. Below is fixed an upper belt, apparently of ornamented leather. The lower belt, of black leather, carries a centrepiece in the form of an elaborate beast's mask. The coat of mail is finished off at the bottom by a short pleated frill, shown here in green, and above the elbows by what looks like a ruff made of petal-shaped scales. From within this protrudes swathed drapery of red and dark grey, as if of sleeves.

From beneath the mail coat descends in rich folds a red skirt with blue border and whitish lining, leaving the knees bare ; also the ends of a long girdle, looped up in front, curl about the legs. These from below the knees are encased in greaves, probably made of stiff leather like the corslet. A row of metal clasps secures them in front, while a large disc of dark purple leather set with a central gold boss covers the calf. The greaves are finished off at the bottom by ankle-guards, in the form of a stiff ruff, apparently also of leather. Guards of closely corresponding shape protect the forearms. The feet are shod with plain sandals held by a single toe- and heel-strap. A greenish stole, hanging round the shoulders and festooned across the front of the body, completes the Lokapala's rich costume.

The nude demon underfoot is shaded blue and has a dog-like face ; the hands on which he crouches are misshapen and a flame bundle rising from his head takes the place of hair.

The banner reproduced on the left (Ch. 0036, scale seven-ninths) represents the Bodhisattva Manjusri seated on his white lion and, apart from the lost accessories, is remarkably well preserved. Its style, in instructive contrast to that of the Lokapala picture just discussed, provides a good example of the maintenance of Indian tradition in Chinese Buddhist art.

The Bodhisattva, whom we have met already in several of the previously discussed paintings,b9 is seated on a scarlet lotus which a golden pedestal carried on the back of his ` Vahana ' supports. Maiïju§ri's figure is entirely Indian in physical type, pose, and dress. With his right leg bent across and the left pendent and resting on a small blue lotus, he keeps his body inclined to the left proper. To the right hand stretched downwards in the vara-mudrii corresponds the pose of the head, which is bent over the right shoulder and balances the slant of the body. The left hand rests on the lotus-seat and holds a long-stemmed gracefully curving lotus. The body has feminine contours and is painted a dull pinkish yellow. The hair, light blue in colour, shows flat above the forehead and straggles down to

b7 See Serindia, pp. 873 sq., 939 sqq., &c. Questions   Armour (Chicago, 194).

closely bearing upon armour and costume such as our   S8 See Ancient Khotan, i. pp. xvi, 374, 411 ; Serindia,

Lokapâlas exhibit have been discussed with much   pp. 246, 463 sqq.

critical learning by Dr. B. Laufer in his Chinese Clay   b9 See above, pp. 12, 14 sq., 29.
Figures, Pt. I : Prolegomena on the History of Defensive