Kizil Caves Fresco

Cave of the Painter
after Grnwedel


Source: fig. 50, p 54, Bilderatlas zur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Mittel-Asiens : vol.1 by Albert von Le Coq
Translated from the German:
fig. 50 (G. 356) "Cave of the painter", Qyzil, 2nd painting system. 6th-7th century AD (?)

Cavalry with emblems and heraldic animals as decoration; spangen(?)-helm without wings; armoured with defensive collar, arms armoured (some have this down to the wrist, but not all). Armoured coat (different types of armoured covering: mesh, scale, rings (or disks), plates and lamellar(?). Large cross-grip sword with mushroom pommel (?). Lance with attached round container (see the longish pouch on the lances of the armed men on the famous Mycenaean fragment of a bowl, Schliemann, Mycenae, Leipzig 1878, p 153). Some of the lances have various flags, on the right is a "drachen" (dragon, kite or wind-sock?) flag. Quiver for bow and arrows in one piece, worn on the right (the rider on the left and on the far right). On the harness of the horses are large jewelry discs. The feet of the cavalry, as with all Sassanian cavalry, are extended unnaturally.

Unfortunately, the original paintings could not be recovered because the plaster had been completely rotted by mould.

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