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0617 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 617 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Sec. vii]   THE PAINTED DADO OF CELLA M. v   525

two main influences reflected by the remarkable portraits which filled in succession the hollows of the undulating festoon. In each of them there rose the head and bust of a man or girl, presented with a freedom of individual expression which made the effect most striking, in spite of the often faded colours. In the drawing and the method of painting, the influence of Hellenistic art appeared quite as predominant as it undoubtedly is in the Graeco-Buddhist sculpture of Gandhara. But with it there seemed to mingle, though in a far less pronounced fashion, the influence of types which the renascent art of ancient Iran had affected. With one exception, and that of the portrait of the

Indian prince manifestly borrowed from the frieze above, there was nothing in these portraits to suggest that the art which found expression in them had received any Indian impress. It was obvious at a glance that none of the figures united in this strangely fascinating cycle could have any relation to the Buddhist worship which the shrine was intended to serve. Even without the evidence

furnished by so many of the purely decorative relievos of Graeco-Buddhist art,- we could hardly fail to realize that the object of the whole dado cycle was frankly to please the eyes. Nor could it, perhaps, surprise those who have read in my Personal Narrative of the trying conditions under which my work at this site and for months before was done, that the contrast presented by these gay figures made me at first look upon them as if they had been designed to personify the varied pleasures of life.

As in the case of the frieze above, it will be best to begin the detailed description of the First figures

surviving portions of the dado from the left end of the south hemicycle, just where it must have of S. dado. begun to unfold itself to the eyes of pious visitors starting their circumambulation of the Stûpa. On the wall immediately adjoining the entrance to the circular passage, the festoon started with the middle of an ascending curve, where the wreath was secured with the usual ribbon, here scarlet in colour and continued as a scarf hanging downwards. The first lunette was filled with a large crimson flower nearly a foot across, having petals and sepals of a conventional type and a circular centre in buff with small red rings representing seeds or stamens. The next upward bend of the festoon was carried by the amorino who is seen in Fig. 134 holding his right hand against his breast and draped round the hips with a brick-red loin-cloth. The hair on his forehead was dressed with the double-leaf lock familiar to us from the ` angels ' of M. iii. In this and all the other figures of the dado the ` light and shade ' treatment of the flesh could, owing to the larger scale, be observed quite clearly, being the same as that detailed in the description of the fresco panels from M. III.

The succeeding lunette was filled with the portrait of a graceful girl (Figs. 134, 135, 139), Girl playing

playing on a four-stringed mandoline and turning her eyes demurely downwards. Her rich black hair on mando-

was dressed on the forehead in the fashion already described above in the fresco fragment M. ill. line.

0019 (Plate XLIV), and gathered in a bunch behind the neck with a crimson ribbon running round it. A diadem made up of red beads, with two large and two small red jewels in the centre, stretched over the hair on the forehead. A large wreath of white roses, with pink stamens in their centres, encircled the head. A curly love-lock descended before each ear, from which hung a crimson flower. The full sensual lips harmonized with the elaborate adornment of this mature beauty,' and the glowing effect was heightened by the rich crimson of the cloak thrown over her left shoulder and across part of her slate-coloured vest. To the right the festoon was carried by a Phrygian-capped youth with both hands resting on it. A close-fitting green garment descended from the neck to above the knees ; the buff cap covered the ears and part of the neck with its long flaps.

In the hollow following there was seen the head and bust of a bearded male figure (Figs. 135, Bearded 139), facing the girl just described and striking in features and dress. The heavy mass öf curly male head. black hair, the bushy moustache, and long beard were by themselves sufficient clearly to distinguish this head from the almost classical male heads represented among the other portraits. In the