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A Hitherto Unidentified Narrative Composition In The Ambulatory Of The Cella In The Main Temple At Tabo (Himachal Pradesh)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents an exact description of an 11th century narrative painting located in the ambulatory of the cella in the main temple (gtsug lag khang) at Tabo, and also identifies its theme. After describing the narrative paintings, it discusses possible identifications of the theme. Methods adopted to identify the theme of the narrative include, comparison of the paintings with canonical sources that are extant elsewhere at Tabo in pictorial form; e.g. the Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra in the assembly hall ('du khang) and the Bhadrakalpikasūtra, situated in the ambulatory of the cella; using fragmentary manuscripts extant in the library of Tabo to discover the theme of the composition; an analysis of possible connections between the narrative painting at Dunhuang and this narrative painting. Finally, the chapter proposes an hypothesis for an explanation of the paintings based on the historical context and the inscriptions in the temple at Tabo.

Keywords: 11th century narrative painting; Bhadrakalpikasūtra; cella; Dunhuang; Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra; gtsug lag khang; Tabo



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    Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, 2003. Volume 7: Text, Image and Song in Transdisciplinary Dialogue — Recommend this title to your library
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