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The Candraprabha Jataka: A Stele at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Cave Chapels of Kizil
Dr. David Ake Sensabaugh (江文苇)
Curator and Head of the Department of Asian Art,
Yale University Art Gallery
A stele dated to the second half of the sixth century and thought to come from Shanxi province was acquired by the Yale University Art Gallery in 1929. The overall program of the stele has been discussed in relation to the Lotus Sutra, but a narrative illustration appearing in the main zone, identified as the Candraprabha Jataka (月光王施头本生故事), is unusual in relation to the Lotus Sutra. This jataka is rarely seen in China proper but is encountered in the cave chapels at Kizil. Even the stylistic rendering of the jataka scene appears to relate to Kizil wall paintings. In this paper I will explore the possible connections between the stele and the cave paintings.