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Two niches on a cliff surface covered by exposed tree roots, Qianfo zhai (千佛寨) Anderl, Christoph


These two niches are located in Qianfo zhai 千佛寨, Anyue xian 安岳縣, Sichuan sheng 四川省. The dating is uncertain. The niche on the right is larger. Five figures can be made out, two at the front and three behind. Their identities are unknown. The figures have blue and orange halos with black outlines. The pigments are probably a late Qing dynasty addition. The heads of the two figures in the front are missing. The three figures at the back are wearing headdresses. The face of the one in the top right seems to have been restored. Two massive, ear-like elements are attached to either side of its face. The centre of these ear-like shapes is dark blue, the outer part light blue and outlined in black. To the left of these five figures, a larger figure is depicted in the centre of the niche, possibly a buddha (deduced from the size of its halo). Another smaller niche on the left is nearly covered by exposed tree roots. At least three figures can be seen. All are depicted with halos. The halos of the middle figure and the right figure are orange. Blue pigment also seem to have been added to the background. The middle figure is adorned with necklaces and jewellery. The left figure is smaller and details are hard to make out because of the tree roots. In the top left corner, a figure with a pale, wrathful face is depicted with raised eyebrows and a slightly open mouth. The rightmost figure is wearing a robe. Descriptions of the photos: An overview of these two niches from the right [1]. A closer view of these two niches from the right [2]. An overview of these two niches from the right [3]. A close-up of the smaller niches on the left [4]. Metadata created by: Anna Paulina Vasilieva, Sarah Smeulders, Zihui Yuan, Charlotte Mahieu and Sau Ling Wendy Yu.

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