Ceiling, Cave 41

ca. 5th century AD
Toyuq, Xinjiang

The ceiling of this early cave consists of a square apex, now destroyed; trapezoidal ceiling panels with standing buddhas; and Thousand-Buddha motifs in alternating square and oval cartouches on the walls below. The tall Buddhas stand upon oval shapes, and are sheltered beneath honorific umbrellas; their bodies are surrounded by mandorlas. The defacement of these images is due to later Muslim iconoclasts.