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Seated Buddha statue accompanied by statues of disciples, bodhisattvas and donors, Niche 106, Beishan Rock Carvings (北山石刻) Anderl, Christoph


This niche is located in Beishan Rock Carvings (北山石刻), Fowan (佛灣), Dazu (大足) District, Chongqing. The central wall has a seated Buddha flanked by two standing disciples and two seated bodhisattva. The Buddha, wearing a double-collared drooping cassock, sits with crossed legs on a lotus throne. The facade of the throne is decorated with a dragon motif. A pair of standing figures is depicted beneath the throne. Since the part above their waists is lost, their identities are unknown. The hands of the Buddha seemingly form a Dharmachakra Mudra, the hand gesture of teaching the dharma. The peach-shaped halo behind the Buddha’s head and the circular halo of his body are decorative with flame patterns. A pair of lines representing the light emitted by the Buddha are extend from the tip of the head halo to the niche ceiling. There are one disciple and one bodhisattva on either side of the Buddha statue. Both disciples hold Añjali Mudras (Chinese: heshi 合十), wear cross-collar robes, and have circular halos. The two bodhisattvas seated on Sumeru thrones have heavy headdresses, double-collared drooping cassocks and peach-shaped halos trimmed with flame patterns. The bodhisattva on the left side of the Buddha holds a willow branch, while the one on the right has a wish-granting sceptre (Chinese: ruyi 如意). A small figure, of which the body above the shoulders is lost, is depicted in front of the right side bodhisattva’s throne. The upper part of the left side wall is badly damaged. However, traces of an image in the middle and four smaller donor images at the bottom of the wall remain. A feitian 飛天 (Sanskrit: apsara) image kneels with one knee on an auspicious cloud motif is depicted on the upper part of the right side wall. The middle section of this wall has a badly destroyed sitting figure, and the bottom contains six damaged donor images. Descriptions of the photos: Overview of the niche [1] Close-up of the central wall [2] Close-up of the right side wall [3] Close-up of the left side wall [4] Metadata created by: Sau Ling Wendy Yu.

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