Kizil Caves, near Kucha, Tarim Basin
Cave of the Sixteen Sword Bearers
A coloured image of these Cave of the Sixteen Sword Bearers, Kizil, near Kucha, Tarim Basin from a Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, publication.
Fig. 116. Donor pictures with a' 1, 2, 3, 4; Height original 1.15 m.
Costume colour: 1 coat light-grey, outside coat edging very bright blue, internal ring of the circles light blue (darker than the back of the edging), ring dark-brown, dots white; trousers light blue, over-trousers white, matt-brown shoes with red-brown edge.
Servant: light blue coat with dark-brown edging.
2 coat light blue, outside coat edging light-grey with blue points, inside dark-brown, trousers white, over-trousers red with white edging; shoes matt-brown.
3 coat light green, with outside brown edging with blue points, trousers blue, over-trousers white with brown edging; shoes red-brown.
4 = 2.
The hair was originally everywhere red, the eyes apparently blue?
Source: Fig. 116. p58 Altbuddhistische Kultstätten in Chinesisch-Turkistan Vol 1 by Albert Grünwedel
[Grünwedel’s line drawings, which he made by pressing a thin piece of paper directly on the paintings, were made before the paintings were cut up and removed by Le Coq.]
The colour photo of this panel in Photo 4, Vol 4, Die Buddhistische Spätantike in Mittelasien by Albert von Le Coq or larger image here
A black and white photo of the right-hand figure appears on page 15 of ELI - 030 - Attila and the Nomad Hordes by David Nicolle (Author), Angus McBride (Illustrator):
Donor figure; wall painting from the Buddhist 'Cave of Sixteen Sword-bearers' at Kizil, early 7th century.
This warrior reflects a part-Iranian, part-Turkish aristocracy which ruled the Central Asian oases in the early Middle Ages. (Staatliche Mus. Preuss. Kulturbesitz, West Berlin)
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