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0473 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 473 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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freedom of design and delicacy of outline which characterize the fine and well-preserved compositions within the cella itself.

I cannot conclude this account of my renewed pilgrimage to this site, which had yielded so rich an antiquarian and artistic harvest, without briefly recording the satisfaction I felt, about six months later, when far away in Turfân I learned from M. Serge d'Oldenburg of his arrival at Chien-fo-tung with a competent staff of artists and technical assistants. The purpose of his visit was a thorough study and reproduction of the pictorial and sculptural remains of the shrines, under the auspices of the (then Imperial) Russian Academy of Sciences. The materials collected under the direction of that distinguished scholar are certain to be of exceptional value to all students of Chinese art and Buddhist iconography. May their publication not be too long deferred.


Ch. oi, 025, 4-3. Clay relief plaques, unbaked. Seated Buddha figure, eyes closed, hands in lap covered by under robe ; feet covered. Draped Asana, pink and purple with light green border.

Figure is seated in a trefoil niche closely resembling the Kashmir trefoil arch, but probably derived from

combination of vesica and nimbus. Upper robe is drawn over head like a nun's veil, and falls in straight folds on each side of face to breast.

or. Flesh, pink slightly shaded. Neck purple ; perhaps original shading darkened to this colour, as the same

colour appears in hollow between nose and eye, and at

dimple at corner of mouth. Upper robe, pink, edged with
real gold and lined purple, covers head and is thrown over

L. shoulder ; under garments purple and emerald green flounce. Eyebrows, eyelashes and wavy thin moustache green-black. Background buff with traces of pale green. Well modelled, but head too large.

025. Flesh discoloured, pink and purple ; moustache and beard light green ; upper robe light green ; under robe purple.

o3r. Flesh discoloured, white, pink and purple. Upper robe purple (very abraded) edged with gold, and decorated

with groups of three Chinese chars. (?) in green, pink and blue placed on shoulders, elbows, knees, midway between knees (feet ?) and stomach. Asana, green, red and dark blue. Lower R. corner broken away.

  1. As or, except lining to upper robe, green ; Asana, blue, red, green and white.

  2. As 032, except lining to upper robe, blue ; under robe white with green flounce. Whole of niche missing except small piece on R. and lower L. corner. r r" x 6;" x r". Highest relief of figure ri". Pl. XLIX.

Ch. 02-3. Two votive clay relief plaques ; small, pear-shaped, showing Buddha seated in meditation on Padmâsana. Stûpas in background, and traces almost obliterated of Brâhmi chars. Made in mould ; clay unfired. Fine modelling ; fair condition. Cf. Ch. 04-01'4 and Ser. iv. Pl. CXXXIX, Wang. ooh, 007. H. of", gr. width a". Pl. XLIX,

Ch. 04—i3. Ten votive clay relief plaques ; like the preceding, but circular, showing Buddha seated in meditation, with Stûpas and Bra hmi chars. (?) on background. All prob. made from same mould, except o9, which has rayed halo border and other differences in details. Clay unfired. Diam. r4" to ri". Pl. XLIX.

Ch. 014. Votive clay relief plaque ; small, pear-shaped, showing seated Buddha in high relief in middle, surface much worn. Remainder in very low relief consists only of rayed trefoil halo and vesica, two small Stûpas by each side of Padmâsana ; scattered Brâhmi chars. (?) above, and 2 11. close Brâhmi chars. below Padmâsana. Mould pear-shaped, but edges of plaque untrimmed. r" x rr. Pl. XLIX.

Ch. ors, 016, oil. Clay relief plaques. Roughly modelled. Buddha seated in meditation on PadmAsana. Robe red ; hair blue. Eyes and eyebrows painted black. Nimbus pointed, green ; halo blue. Traces of gold on face of 017. All rather defaced. 7" x 4-". Pl. XLIX.

Ch. or8, org, 021, 029, 030. Clay relief plaques. Buddha seated in meditation on Padmâsana. Head in high relief, body in low relief. All varying slightly in modelling and colour. Vesica and oval nimbus. Poor work. 9" x 6I". Pl. XLIX.

Ch. 020, 022, 027. Clay relief plaques, similar to Ch. or. But seated monkish figure is corpulent, front of body exposed to stomach ; two upper robes, one covering lower part of body, legs and L. arm and shoulder, the other covering R. arm and shoulder. Flounce of under robe. L. leg crossed ; R. foot flat on Asana with knee up on which rests R. hand holding rosary ; L. hand on L. knee ; eyes open and round ; shaven head, uncovered ; cheeks and chin coloured dark to show incipient hair. Prob. monk.

020. Flesh dark pink, eyebrows bushy painted in fine lines. Upper robes purple, red bordered ; that on R. lined green. Flounce, green. Asana, green, black and red. All niche missing. 022. Flesh and hair as preceding. L. upper robe green studded with trefoil spots, each composed of three round dots, respectively blue, green and pink with


Russian Academy's expedition to Ch`ienfo-tung.