Collection

Mural Painting of Pranidhi Scene

  • Materials

    Clay

  • Dimensions

    145.0×57.0cm

  • Accession Number

    Bongwan 4049

List

Bezeklik Caves, the largest cave temple site in the Turpan region, flourished between the 6th and 13th centuries. The cave complex consists of around 80 caves that were hollowed into a cliff in the Flaming Mountains. The cave complex includes dozens of caves that are covered with hundreds of Buddhist murals, most of which have been significantly damaged over time. Some of the damage is due to natural wear and erosion, but many of the paintings were deliberately damaged as well, either by local Muslims or by Western and Japanese explorers who removed them from the walls. This particular portion comes from Cave #15 of the Bezeklik caves, which features a massive rendition of the “Pranidhi scene,” wherein Sumedha, a former incarnation of Sakyamuni, becomes a Buddha, thereby fulfilling a vow or promise (“pranidhi” in Sanskrit) made by one of the previous Buddhas(Dipankara), when Sumedha was still an acolyte. This story is told through a huge series of murals, featuring 15 separate motifs, which originally filled the walls on both sides of the corridor to Ccave #15. This part of the mural shows the scene of the prediction, as Sumedha, holds flowers to be offered to Buddha.

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