Sec. iii] RELIEVOS AND FRESCOES FROM N.W. PORTION OF ` MING-OI' 1195
moulding. We can observe a still more interesting series of transformations in the heads shown in the second row of Plate CXXXII. The same mould was used for the face in all four. Yet by varying the appliqué parts used for hair, head-dress, beard, etc., as well as by deft changes effected after moulding or in setting, the heads are made to range from that of a naturalistically treated layman (Mi. xi. co56) to one resembling a classical satyr's (Mi. xi. oo1o7). The variety of expression commanded, in the treatment of the eyes in particular, is illustrated, e.g., by the intense look of Mi. xi. 0058 as compared with the natural placidity of the fine head Mi. xi. 0063.
Naturalistic feeling that strangely recalls Gothic art is displayed in the beautifully modelled head of a young woman, Mi. xi. 0099, wearing a wimple over her brushed back hair. This distinct tendency towards realistic treatment is most striking, perhaps, in those heads where emotion is expressed with a freedom that is very rare in Gandhara sculpture. The cleverest among them is the grotesque head of a laughing old woman, Mi. x. 0019, with which may be compared also the laughing heads Mi. xi. 00too, 00125 (Plate cxxxiiI). The head of a crying . man, Mi. x. 0018, is also a good piece of work. Realism of the boldest type combined with imaginative force is displayed by the grotesque head Mi. xi. 0095 (Plate CXXXIII), half-human, half-bestial, shown in the act of vomiting a skull. The motif is clearly suggested by later Mahayana imagery such as is responsible also for the Bodhisattva-like figure, Mi. xi. 0098 (Plate CxxxIIi), wearing a garland of skulls. The local artists' power of true observation of nature is attested by the fine relievos of horses, Mi. xi. 00138-9 (Plate CxxxVi), and does not forsake them either in the rendering of the head of the less familiar elephant (see Mi. xi. ooI16-17, Plate cxxxvi). Finally we may note the distinctly Greek shape of the vase seen in Mi. xi. 00120 (Plate Cxxxvii) and the appearance of acroteria and other classical details familiar from Graeco-Buddhist art in architectural fragments such as Mi. xi. 00126-7 (Plate cxxxvni).
Another shrine of the third type, to the south of the one just described and placed at right angles to it, did not invite excavation, as the deep débris filling it showed only too plainly the destruction which had been caused here by fire even in the side passages. A smaller detached structure to the east with badly decayed walls was cleared without any finds, and its purpose remained doubtful. Beyond it to the east lay a complex of halls and rooms, of which only the nearest, xiii, could clearly be recognized as a temple of the second type. Its cella measured 17 feet square and was filled with burned brickwork. The hall in front, which appeared to have been cleared previously, showed on either side of the cella entrance an image base about 2 feet high and 15 inches wide. Remains of completely calcined torsos from the statues once occupying them were just traceable.
The narrow chamber at the back of the cella, 4 feet 8 inches wide, proved on excavation to have retained a considerable portion of its fresco decoration along the foot of its outer walls. The preservation of the clado-like panels, still intact for a continuous length of 12 feet or so in the eastern half of the chamber (see inset plan in Plate 53), was due to this part having retained its vaulting, which helped to keep out moisture. Westwards the vaulting and much of the walls, too, had fallen, and the paintings at their foot had become effaced except for the narrow panel in the corner, marked
1 I in the plan, and the fragmentary panel 12 at the foot of the west wall. This chamber at the back communicated with the cella by two somewhat lower vaulted passages, each about 4 feet wide and 41- feet deep. They were found filled almost to the top with débris, including fragments of stucco sculptures which must have been thrust in from adjoining parts of the cella and of which Mi. xiii. 001-5 furnish specimens. From the fact that the outer wall of the western passage still retained a considerable portion of its fresco decoration (Mi. xiii. Io, Plate CXXIV) it may reasonably be concluded that the passages were blocked up by fallen débris before fire consumed the wrecked cella.
7 N 2
Heads transformed after moulding.
Free expression of emotion.
Later Mahayana motifs.
Temple ruins to east.
Fresco remains of vaulted chamber xiii.