Bracket Arrangement

Cave 16, Tianlongshan Grottoes, Shanxi

The stone facade of this Northern Qi cave imitates wooden architecture of the same date. Its architrave rests upon octagonal stone-based columns, that taper towards the top in order to exaggerate the visual impression of their height. The square capitals are unslotted. Above, simple dougong are slotted to receive the upper lintel. The inverted V-shaped brackets between the dougong are curved to give the impression of swags, although other examples are straight.