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0078 The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1
The Thousand Buddhas : vol.1 / Page 78 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000188
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my account of those shown in our Plate may be restricted to individual points deserving of notice.

In the banner on the left (Ch. lv. oozo), which is well preserved except at the top where the painting has broken and been attached to the head-piece (not shown) by a patch of purple silk, we see a good example of the Lokapâla type designated above as ` Chinese '. Virûpâksa stands with his feet planted on the back and head of his crouching demon cognizance and holding the drawn sword upright in his left hand." His face is middle-aged and serious, the oblique eyes slightly enlarged, and the iris painted a dark yellow. His coat of mail shows oblong scales all through from the shoulders to the skirt portion. The flesh is shaded light pink over the brownish white of the silk. The corslet is secured by broad shoulder-straps, probably of lacquer, here clearly marked. Beneath the hip-belt appear an apron and hip-flaps of shaped leather, providing additional protection. Round the lower edge of the belt hang loose rings, probably meant for the attachment of the scabbard and other equipment. The breeches are tucked into greaves, and the feet shod with plain sandals. The general colour effect is subdued owing to the prevalence of light brown and pale red tints.

The painting in the middle (Ch. lv. 0046) is broken at the top and has lost its banner accessories, but retains its colours in remarkable freshness. Virûpâksa, turning slightly to the left, stands with his feet on the shoulder and knee of a squatting demon. He holds before him with both hands a long sword in a lacquered scabbard, whose point rests on the demon's head. His face, large-cheeked and with strong chin, bears a pleasant expression. The oblique eyes with light iris gaze upwards.

The coat of mail painted yellow and red shows round-edged scales overlapping downwards as far as the hip-belt, while the skirt portion has oblong scales apparently overlapping upwards. Trefoil-shaped flaps of green leather give additional protection to the hips and abdomen. A sausage-shaped collar is fastened round the neck and over a brown mantle. Solid guards of lacquered leather protect both upper and fore arms. The legs are clad only in breeches tied below the knees and hanging loose to the ankles. The shoes of woven string are of some interest, as their make exactly corresponds to that of shoes brought to light by me from ruins of Han and later times." The elaborately jewelled head-dress is fitted with a red ` cock's crest ' at the back, and the halo behind is flame-edged.

The Chinese inscription describes the Lokapâla correctly as Virûpâksa, ` celestial king of the Western Region '. The work is carefully finished throughout, and the colours harmonious, though more opaque than usual in these banners.

The banner (Ch. ooio), of which the painted portion is reproduced on the right, is complete and excellently preserved. Virupâksa's figure combines here characteristics of that Lokapâla type which may conveniently be called ` Central-Asian ' with a treatment and certain details not unlike those in the ` Chinese ' type.

The Lokapâla stands facing the spectator on the head and knee of a contorted demon. His right foot is placed on a higher level than the other, and the weight of the body thrown on the left hip. The right hand holds the naked sword aslant across the body and the left supports it at the breast. The face is heavy and with the frowning forehead, the snarling mouth, and glaring eyes bears a fiercer expression than usual. The large round eyes are level and the iris green. The hair, shown light blue, is bunched back behind the ears. The flesh is painted a pinkish red with but little shading.

The coat of mail from shoulders to skirt is uniformly made up of round-edged scales overlapping downwards ; but their colouring varies in different parts. A jerkin of blue leather elaborately ornamented with metal-work appears above and below the mail corslet. The forearms are swathed in red draperies, which also show above the knees. The white leg-coverings are tucked into greaves which display elaborately scrolled metal-work, manifestly painted in with an eye mainly to decorative effect. Similar metal-work is shown

98 For a likely explanation of this unusual attitude,   99 See Serindia, ii. p. 874 ; Pls. xxxvrr,

see above, p. 24, note 25.