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《Dunhuang Research》 2017-04
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An Analysis of the Image Combination in Caves 11—13 at the Yungang Grottoes

WANG Youkui;Editorial Department, Dunhuang Academy;Academy of Art & Design, Tsinghua University;  
Caves 11—13 at the Yungang Grottoes were constructed as a group during a secondary phase of construction. The sculptures in these caves can be divided into the two types of integrated and non-integrated design. In cave 12, which is of integrated design, the image combination of a Jeweled Buddha, Prabhutaratna Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, and Maitrya(Buddha or bodhisattva) was installed on the central axis of the main chamber and on the eastern and western walls of the front chamber. The main idea of these themes is similar to those depicted in caves 7—10, which were constructed at the beginning of the same second phase. More broadly speaking, the integrated design of cave 13 focuses on the crossed-legged image of Maitreya bodhisattva on the north wall conveying the Buddhist idea that one may be reborn into Tusita Heaven. The images carved on the middle level of both side walls of cave 13 and cave 11 are of non-integrated design. An analysis of this group of shrines suggests that the idea of being reborn into the Tusita Pure Land and obtaining Buddhahood through devout belief in Mahayana Buddhism was very popular among common Buddhist followers.
【CateGory Index】: K879.22
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