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Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

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0609 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 609 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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adorned woman, apparently holding the reins, with her left hand resting on the chariot front. Her hair descended in black tresses below the neck, with love-locks in front of the ears and two fringes crossing the forehead. The face was of a ` Houri'-like type, suggesting development from some Hellenistic model under Iranian influence. Her turban-like head-dress was nearly the same as that worn by the second female figure in the dado below, and can be described there in detail, being represented on a larger scale. Two strings of red beads crossing the hair obliquely were fastened with a large circular jewel ornament above the middle of the forehead. Her dress consisted of a mauve-coloured bodice, open in front, over which descended two strings of yellowish beads from the side of the neck, and of a dark green mantle or stole laid in heavy folds across the left shoulder. Standing behind the fair charioteer appeared the figures of two children, rather poorly drawn, with heads disproportionately large. The peculiar lock on the forehead resembling a double leaf with stem, already familiar from the ` angels ' of the dado in M. 11i, made them recognizable as boys. The one to the right was dressed in a yellow vest, the other in one of light blue, the edges being in each case trimmed with red. On the arm of the boy to the left were jewelled bands and a bracelet.

In front of the chariot was painted a tree, evidently intended to mark a sylvan setting for the scene, like the foliage and tree appearing in the background further on. Both trees were drawn in a manner closely resembling that which is displayed by the fresco panel M. ni. oo3 and has been discussed above. Over a cone of dark green, almost approaching black, intended to represent the shady mass of the foliage as a whole, were painted leaves and flowers in yellow, intermingling with some leaves in a pale green. The branches bearing them were shown in very dark crimson and the tree trunks in brown, with knobs indicating lopped branches. Between the two trees, and against a dark background in which foliage, as seen in Figs. 136, 137, could still be made out, a richly-caparisoned white male elephant was marching. It was drawn with remarkable truth to life, and looked the principal, and also the best modelled, figure in the extant portion of the frieze. The expression of the animal's eye and face and the movement of its legs were caught with much skill and obviously from personal observation. Large circular bosses, painted yellow with red outlines and probably intended to represent gold ornaments, decorated the forehead and trunk, and were held in position by means of narrow black bands. Three strings of big rings, yellow with red rims, were seen hanging over the elephant's right ear. A diadem of yellow leaves, outlined in red and evidently representing gold, encircled its forehead. Equally rich was the covering of its back. Over a black saddle-cloth, perhaps of felt and edged with fringes alternately red and black, was spread a carpet-like fabric, yellow in colour and probably meant for cloth of gold. It showed, woven or embroidered, a diaper of pink-outlined circlets, each filled with a five-petalled rosette alternately crimson and light blue. Large metal bells, painted in dark red, hung from the corners of the saddle-cloth. Close to the bell above the right hind leg was written on the white background of the quarter a short inscription (Fig. 1[44), in three lines of small but clear Kharosthi characters and a little over two inches long, which will be discussed further on.

In front of the elephant and leading him by the trunk was seen moving a personage (Fig. 137) who, by the characteristic head-dress and clothes corresponding exactly (except for some variation in colour) to those of the horseman and of the figure in the dado lunette below, and by the rich jewellery on neck, ears, arm, and wrist, could clearly be recognized as an Indian prince. The stole-like cloak thrown over the left shoulder was light green ; the Dhoti-like garment clothing the body from the hips downwards was yellow, and draped in rich folds unmistakably derived from classical models and indicated by red outlines. The broad jewelled necklace, the big flower-shaped ear-rings, the armlet with its central jewel, and the triple bracelet were all painted in yellow

White elephant in sylvan scene.

Prince leading elephant.