1252 RUINED SITES EAST AND NORTH OF KHOTAN [Chap. XXXI
longitudinal stripes, treated as pleats of the garment, from right to left : a band of white circlets on dark blue wash ; a palmette ornament, figured by small white dots (pearls ?) over black ; an elaborate floral design with small blossoms in white, dark blue, and green ; a band of white circlets over light pink wash ; a palmette pattern as previously described ; fern-like tracery in dark brown over red ground, and finally a band of white circlets over pale blue and pink washes suggesting shot-silk.
Of the mural paintings in tempera more fortunately remained, and the best-preserved portions I succeeded in safely removing with Naik Rdm Singh's help. From the right of the statue last described came the fine figure of a standing Avalokitegvara, F. xii. 005, which is reproduced in Plate CXXV. As it has been fully described in the List below, it will suffice here to call attention to the manifold features of detail in drapery, ornaments, etc., which show very close attachment to the style of Graeco-Buddhist sculpture. The medallion ornamentation of both halo and vesica is uncommon, and is curiously suggestive of a favourite motif of Sassanian textiles.' The influence of Persian art makes itself distinctly felt also elsewhere in some of these frescoes. Above this there remained the lower portion of a figure, standing on a lotus, F. xi!. 006 (Figs. 312, 3 1 3). The southwest wall had lost almost the whole of its plaster surface. But in the south corner there remained portions, seen in Fig. 314 on the right, of a vesica decorated with large round flowers, and above of a diaper of small figures of seated Buddhas. A similar diaper, but with somewhat larger figures, filled what remained of the south-east wall surface by the right side of the vesica of the completely destroyed colossal statue.2 F. x11. ooio is a portion of the frieze, gracefully decorated with floral motifs, which extended along the foot of this wall. Fig. 296 shows what survived of the frescoed surface to the north-east. Of the design to the right of the relievo figure, which showed Buddhas seated in meditation with the flowers and stem of a large lotus plant extending towards the corner, F. xii. 009 comprises the best-preserved portion.
But by far the most interesting piece of the wall-paintings in this shrine is the fresco which decorated the south side of the entrance. This fresco, of ,yvhich the position is seen in Fig. 312, had suffered below badly by abrasion for which the feet of worshippers visiting the shrine were probably responsible. But the upper portion had retained most of its harmonious colouring, and was safely recovered (Plate XIII).3 It shows, as was first recognized by M. Foucher, the Indian goddess Hâriti with five of her offspring. In his brilliant essay on La Madone bouddhique M. Foucher has proved this identification, and that of a similar representation in linen painting found at Yar-khoto and now in Berlin, by conclusive evidence drawn from his unequalled knowledge of the GraecoBuddhist sculptures of Gandhdra.4 This makes it unnecessary here to point out in detail how closely all features of the composition agree with the conception of the goddess developed in Indian Buddhism. From being in origin a ` Yaksini' personifying the dread disease of small-pox and a destroyer of children, she had been elevated by a process of pious superstition, which has many parallels in the history of folk-lore and religion, into a benign goddess not merely protecting young children but producing fecundity.
' See also the vesica of the larger seated Buddha on the right in Fig. 296. Cf. above, p. 906, for a similar ornamental border in a fresco fragment from Khrtdalik, illustrated in Pl. CXvI. A, Kha. i. c. oox 19.
2 For fresco pieces from this diaper, see F. xi'. oo7-8 ; Fig. 314.
3 For a reproduction in colour, on a reduced scale, see Desert Cathay, ii. p. 414, Pl. XI. This, as well as the heliogravure plate xix, accompanying M. Foucher's paper,
La Madone bouddhique, in Monuments el Mémoires, vol. xvii, 1910, of the Académie des Inscriptions, was prepared before the fresco panel was completed by joining up a narrow portion belonging to its left.
' Cf. Foucher, La Madone bouddhique, pp. i r sqq., in the publication quoted in the preceding note. For an English translation, see now Foucher, The beginnings of Buddhist Art, pp. 285 sqq.