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Ellora. Cave 9 (Buddhist). Façade. 350-550 A.D.

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Ellora. Cave 9 (Buddhist). Façade. 350-550 A.D.
Author(s): Photographer: Basham, Arthur Llewellyn
Keywords: Deccan-- Western Cave Temples-- Ellora
architecture
stone sculpture
slide set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: Of the few Buddhist structures at Ellora, most are beautifully handled in terms of their decorational syste77ms and attain a very high level of complexity without being grossly elaborate as perhaps the Brahmanical tend to be with their generously applied sculptures. We might characterize the facade of cave 9, for example, by the words 'simple elegance,' for the decoration is consistent in its motifs and their roles in proportion to the system as a whole, while the carving itself is delicately handled as if the surface were ivory rather than brittle stone. The columns supporting the gallery of the facade are sturdy prismatic structures decorated with panels of reliefs at the top only. Across the beam of the entrance is a frieze divided along its length by panels containing figures of Buddha and his attendants. Above this, in several staggered layers, are small chaitya-window motifs (not unlike those at Ajanta, cave 9, in function) each housing a figure of Buddha, or Buddha and his two main attendants, the Bodhisattvas Padmapani and Maitreya. The use of the Buddha image heralds the coming to prominence of Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) Buddhism over the Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle) concepts. In style, the sculptures are within the Classic Gupta Period during its early phase as it was manifested in the Sarnath school of sculpture
that is, finely carved and finished with precision. It seems closer to Sarnath than to Mathura of the same period, for the latter is entirely more robust in terms of treatment than either Ellora or Sarnath.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/176372
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-1377

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