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0225 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 225 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Sec. ii]


Other fragments of wall-paintings.

Use of painted silk banners.

in spite of all differences of technique. In a light green field below the lotus seat of the Buddha there appears a six-armed candelabrum flanked by two grotesque figures. On the right is seen a white-haired ascetic displaying an open breast and abdomen. On the left a boar-headed demon carries in his outstretched arms a human body which he is evidently engaged in devouring. Streams of blood are seen descending from the monster's jaws.

The large fragment reproduced immediately to the right of this group shows some very fine floral ornamentation, outside what appears to be part of a large vesica, which contains the interesting reproduction of a vase. The type is evidently one represented also among the decorated pottery of Ybtkan, and the grotesque appliqué head, so common among the latter, is well shown in profile on the right. Of the minor fresco fragments reproduced also in Plate xI attention may be specially called to the Ganega figure, Kha. i. C. 0095, in the left-hand top corner, and the clever naturalistic presentation of an emaciated old man on its right. In the delicate outline drawing of the hands in Kha. i. E. 0049, Kha. 0026, as well as of those in the larger figures Kha. i. C. 0054 and Kha. i. E. oo5o (Plate xiI), the resemblance to the style illustrated by the wall painting of the Dandân-oilik shrine D. II (see Ancient Khotan, ii. Plate II) is quite unmistakable. Both these larger figures represent Bodhisattvas. In Kha. i. E. oo5o the freedom and skill with which the rich folds of drapery are indicated, and the graceful expression of the face, deserve special praise. The head with the Dhyâni-buddha, Kha. i. 0059, is treated with equal mastery and ease. The effect of all these larger figures must have been greatly heightened by the rich and harmonious colouring of the surrounding nimbi and vesicas of which fragments can be seen in Plate XII, together with a piece of foliage in imbricated green and blue tints.

There can be little doubt that the painters of those beautiful silken banners representing Buddhist divinities, which came to light from the walled-up cave of the ` Thousand Buddhas ' of Tun-huang in such wonderful preservation, were able to draw their inspiration largely from similar productions of Khotan artists. The early use of such silk paintings, both in the shape of banners and of hangings, as votive offerings at Buddhist shrines, is distinctly attested by a statement of Sung Yiin, made curiously enough about a shrine near Han-mo which must be located at the site of Ulûgh-mazâr in the vicinity of Domoko.9 On this account it is noteworthy that the finds at the Khâdalik shrines include also a few very small fragments, of silk paintings (Kha. i. 87, 0026 ; ii. N. 19). To complete the analogy with the votive gifts recovered from the Tun-huang cave temples, there were found at Khâdalik also part of a small pennon in a coarse, probably woollen, fabric, Kha. i. 31, and a piece of similar cloth, Kha. i. 0025, still bearing traces of a painted design. In conclusion, I may mention also an artist's tool found here in the shape of the well-preserved modelling spatula, Kha. i. ooi 7.



Kha. o5. Stucco relief. Cross-legged Buddha with circular nimbus, hands meeting in lap. Behind is circular halo orn. with chevron pattern near edge, fringed with lotus petals (broken at top L. and middle R. sides). Drapery yellow. Red clay. 31"x 3r. Pl. Xv.

Kha. ooi. Stucco relief fr. Half-round moulding relieved See Ancient Kholan, i. pp. 456 sq. ; 463.

by four bands of 'twisted ribbon' orn. separated by narrow fillets. Hard white stucco, burnt. Traces of red colour. 4" x 28". Pl. XVI.

Kha. 002. Fr. of painted panel, rough at back. Most of panel broken away on one side. Broken also at top and bottom edges. Obv. portion of roughly painted subject.

Chavannes, Voyage de Song l'un, p. 15.