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Ajanta: Front of Shrine Cave VII

Ajanta: Front of Shrine Cave VII

Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1878

Shelfmark: WD2213

Item number: f.44

Genre: Drawing

Illustration of the front of the shrine of Cave VII at Ajanta from James Burgess' 'Original Drawings from the Buddhist Rock Temples at Ajanta.' The Buddhist cave temples of Ajanta were excavated into a horse-shoe shaped cliff overlooking the Waghora River in the 2nd ? 1st century BC and later in the 5th century AD, a period of time which coincides with the Hinayana and Mahayana phases of Buddhist art. Cave VII is a monastery from the late 5th century which consists of two small porticos with octagonal columns with fluted cushion capitals. The overhanging eave is decorated with carvings of horseshoe-shaped windows. There are small cells at the ends and the shrine in the middle of the rear wall has a standing and a seated Buddha. "The sides of the shrine and antechamber are covered with sculptures of Buddha in his various positions or mudras, and the sides and lintel of the shrine door are similarly covered with figures of him, almost to the entire exclusion of all other ornament."

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