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Ajanta: Kneeling by the Shrine Cave XI

Ajanta: Kneeling by the Shrine Cave XI

Surveyor: Cousens, Henry (1854-193?)

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1878

Shelfmark: WD2214

Item number: f.2

Genre: Drawing

Illustration of a figure from Cave XI 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 XI is an incomplete monastery that dates back to the 5th century. The columned verandah leads to the internal hall which has four columns with pot-like capitals. A Buddha image is carved in front of a stupa. The verandah columns and doorway used to be painted with decorative motifs and the ceiling has paintings of birds and animals. At either side of the verandah doorway are large figures of Bodhisattvas.This illustration of a male figure or attendant worshipper is located on the left side of the shrine. "It is a male figure of somewhat less than natural size, kneeling before the throne on the right hand of the image, with his hands joined in an attitude of devotion, but holding a cup or small bowl. More than half the head and right arm and part of the right leg are broken off. It was probably intended to represent the excavator of the cave, or at least of the shrine."

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