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Niches 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35, Beishan Rock Carvings (北山石刻) Anderl, Christoph; Yu, Sau Ling Wendy


This complex of niches is located in Beishan Rock Carvings (北山石刻), Fowan (佛灣), Dazu (大足) District, Chongqing. Since most figures are severely eroded, their identities are unknown. Niche 30: Central figure and two attendant figures Niche 31: Standing figure with round-shaped halo Niche 32: Two standing bodhisattva images, with badly damaged heads, standing on lotus pedestals. According to the inscriptions on the right side of the niche, these are Sūryaprabha (Chinese: Riguang pusa 日光菩薩) and Candraprabha (Chinese: Yueguang pusa 月光菩薩). The niche was dated to 913 CE, during the Former Shu dynasty (前蜀永平三年). Source: Dazu shike yanjiuyuan 大足石刻研究院. Dazu shike quanji 大足石刻全集 [Dazu Rock Carvings] Edited by Li Fangyin 黎方銀. 10 vols. Vol. 1-1, Chongqing: Chongqing chubanshe, 2018, p.145. Niche 33: A central figure and two attendant figures are depicted. All of them are seated on Sumeru thrones. Niche 34: A seated figure and two standing attendant figures are depicted. Niche 35: One Buddha image flanks by two disciples, and two bodhisattva images are depicted. The Buddha, showing a meditation mudra, is seated with crossed legs on a lotus throne. Its head is damaged. The peach-shaped head halo and oval body halo are decorated with flame motifs. An octagon canopy is depicted above the Buddha. The two standing disciples join their palms together to form Añjali Mudras (Chinese: heshi 合十). Their halos are round-shaped. The two bodhisattvas with European sitting posture are placed on lotus thrones. The design of their halos is similar to that of the Buddha statue. Auspicious cloud motifs decorated with images of Chinese instruments are carved on top of their halos. According to the inscriptions on the left side of the niche edge, this is a shrine of Amitabha dated to 941 CE, during the Later Shu dynasty (後蜀廣政四年). Source: Dazu shike yanjiuyuan. Dazu shike quanji. Edited by Li Fangyin. Vol. 1-1, p.153. Descriptions of the photos: Key to the niches [1] Overview of the niches [2] Overview of niches 31, 32, 34, 35 [3] Overview of niches 30, 31, 33, 34 [4] Close-up of Niche 35 [5] Close-up of Niche 32 [6] Metadata created by: Sau Ling Wendy Yu.

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