Site mapAbout usConsultative CommitteeAsk LibrarianContributionCopyrightCitation GuidelineDonationHome        

CatalogAuthor AuthorityGoogle
Search engineFulltextScripturesLanguage LessonsLinks

Extra service
Scenes of Hell and Damnation in Dunhuang Murals
Author Moretti, Costantino (著)
Source Arts Asiatiques
Pages5 - 30
PublisherÉcole Française d'Extrême-Orient
Publisher Url
LocationSaigon, Viet Nam [西貢, 越南]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
KeywordDunhuang=敦煌; Buddhism=佛教=bouddhisme=仏教; medieval China=中古中國=Chine médiévale=中国中世; mural paintings=壁畫=peintures murales=壁画; hells=地獄=enfers
AbstractLes descriptions des enfers dans la littérature eschatologique et cosmologique bouddhiste constituent l’une des spéculations les plus fascinantes élaborées par ce système religieux, qui fournit des détails extravagants sur les processus d’expiation. Si les manuscrits illustrés du Sūtra des Dix rois, décrivant les dix juges du « purgatoire » chinois, ont fait l’objet d’études approfondies, le thème de la damnation infernale dans les peintures murales de Dunhuang a reçu moins d’attention. Des études préliminaires ont montré que ces illustrations peuvent être classées en trois catégories différentes : les représentations figurant dans des scènes de différents sūtra ; les scènes de damnation intégrées à des tableaux cosmologiques ; et les peintures murales associées à Dizang/Kṣitigarbha et aux Dix rois, représentant une image bureaucratisée de l’au-delà. Cet article présente les caractéristiques principales du vocabulaire iconographique des représentations des enfers dans les peintures murales de Mogao qui appartiennent aux deux premières catégories.

The descriptions of the various hells in Buddhist eschatological and cosmological literature constitute one of the most fascinating speculations on the characteristics of otherworldly realms elaborated by this religious system, which provides extravagant details on sinners’ atonement processes. While a number of important works have focused on the illustrated manuscripts of the Sūtra on the Ten Kings, which portrays the ten judges of Chinese “purgatory,” the visual narrative describing the theme of hell damnation, as seen in Dunhuang murals, has received less attention. Preliminary research has shown that these illustrations can be divided into at least three different categories: hell representations found in scenes illustrating various sūtras; damnation scenes in cosmological charts; and mural paintings of Dizang/Kṣitigarbha showing bureaucratised representations of the underworld featuring the Ten Kings “system.” This paper sets out the major characteristics of the visual vocabulary of hell representations in Mogao murals that fall into the first two categories.


Table of contentsAbstract 5
Introductory remarks 6
Notes on the Tianshi jing archetype 8
Iconic and descriptive hell scenes in sūtra representations 8
An example of iconic type hell scene: the episode of Prince Ajātaśatru in cave 171 9
The hells explained through their tortures (descriptive type I) 12
An early representation in a cosmological setting 12
The Guanyin Sūtra in cave 420 12
Scenes depicting the Nine Grades of Rebirth in caves 431 and 215 13
Locating the hells in the fortified city (descriptive type II) 17
Scenes from the Foding zunsheng tuoluoni jing in caves 217, 23, and 55 17
A hell scene in cave 321 20
Two hell scenes in cave 361 23
More scenes in cosmological settings 24
Conclusion 27
Bibliography 28
ISSN00043958 (P); 21114552 (E)
Created date2023.10.25
Modified date2023.11.01

Best viewed with Chrome, Firefox, Safari(Mac) but not supported IE


You are leaving our website for The full text resources provided by the above database or electronic journals may not be displayed due to the domain restrictions or fee-charging download problems.

Record correction

Please delete and correct directly in the form below, and click "Apply" at the bottom.
(When receiving your information, we will check and correct the mistake as soon as possible.)

Serial No.

Search History (Only show 10 bibliography limited)
Search Criteria Field Codes
Search CriteriaBrowse