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0607 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 607 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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frieze, besides traces of a third above it. In the second place, considering the influence of the

pradaksinâ custom as explained above, it seems highly probable that the composition of the wall-

paintings as a whole had its starting-point on the left of the entrance to the cella and thus in the

south-eastern segment. As is shown by the photographs of the extant wall-paintings in the southern

arc (reproduced in Figs. 134-40), the foot of the wall was adorned with a dado • which contained

a cycle of festoon-carrying figures and of others appearing in the lunettes between them. The

height of this dado from the floor to the lower edge of the triple border which separated it from

the upper frieze was 2 feet 6 inches. Then followed a border composed of three bands in black,

slaty green, and cream, each about one and a half inches wide. This border, but with the succession

of its bands reversed, was repeated along the top of the frieze which surmounted the dado. The

frieze was almost intact over a segment about fourteen feet long. On its field of bright Pompeian

red, close on three feet wide, there extended a continuous succession of scenes presenting a picture

more striking than any I had yet set my eyes upon in the course of my explorations. With most

of the figures shown in movement from left to right, it seemed at first sight to suggest something

like a triumphal procession.

Where, over a small portion of the segment to the south-east, the cella wall still rose to a height Remains of

of nearly ten feet, there could be distinguished above the upper frieze parts of the legs and feet top frieze.

of at least three richly-dressed male figures, evidently life size, standing in a row. The painted

frieze to which they belonged seemed to have extended into that section of the wall where the

vaulting began. But the frescoed remains were too scanty to permit of any surmise as to the

general decorative scheme followed, and for the same reason they need not detain us here long.

The drawing in the remains of these figures seemed very stiff and poor by contrast with the frieze

and dado below. All appeared to have been represented with long coats reaching to the knee and

painted in rich yellows and greens. Underneath these were seen the ends of bulging trousers in •

deep purple and brown. The legs were encased in what looked like stockings, but they may have

been meant for big boots or mocassins. On one figure, they were dark red above and green over

the feet ; on the other, black above, red below down to the ankle, and yellow over the feet. But

the peculiar feature of this leg- and foot-gear was its rich ornamentation of arabesques in crimson,

dark green, and yellow ; among them fantastic scroll-work was abundant, recalling the wave lines

of Chinese embroidery. Considering the scanty remains of this topmost fresco band, there is less

reason to regret that, owing to their position, I could not secure any satisfactory photograph of

them. The plaster surface which bore them was far too brittle for removal, and on my return in

1914 was found to have broken away completely. It may be mentioned here in passing that among

the small detached fragments of wall-painting brought away from the débris of the circular passage

there are two, M. v. 0014 (Plate XLV), 001 7, which from their scale may be supposed to have

belonged to that topmost band.

Fortunately a kindlier fate had watched over the fresco frieze surmounting the dado, for which Painted

special importance must be claimed on account of both the 'subject and its treatment. I proceed to friezedad o. above

describe it from the photographs reproduced in Figs. 134-40 and the detailed notes recorded on

the spot. Starting from the extreme left marked by the south side of the entrance, I found a piece

of the frieze about three feet long, broken down to less than half of its original height through the

decay of the wall at its back. On this piece, of which the right end is shown by Fig. 134, it was

possible to distinguish only a balustraded substructure in wood and above it a low throne, of the

Indian gadi type, covered with drapery. Seated on this, and with the feet resting on a footstool,

appeared the lower part of a figure wearing a flesh-coloured robe laid in ample folds after the

classical fashion. To the left of this seated figure there remained the legs of a red-robed personage,