17. The archery-contest
As regards the chief point, this scene is perfectly clear, though perhaps for technical reasons the particulars of the manner in which the prince displays his skill, do not quite coincide with the text, any better than in the case of the famous contest of the historic Buddha (see p. 153). The prince stands on the left, ready to shoot, his bow is bent and the arrow fixed on the point of shooting through the seven tala-trees set up in a row in front of the golden post that is fixed on a pedestal, more to the right. Between this post and the prince sit a number of interested kinnara's, one or two of them also have bow and arrows. The space to the right of the post is reserved for the king and his suite. Druma, with a halo round his head, is sitting on the right on an elevated seat, underneath which three servants are placed. Through some carelessness in the execution, the legs of the seat are hardly to be seen, so that it looks like a square board partly supported on the heads of the servants, the rest hanging in space. Other attendants are placed opposite the king, with their backs to the gilt post; respect for their sovereign deprives them in this way of any sight of the interesting scene. One of them cannot resist turning round to look. This touch of nature does not blind us to the defects of the design as a whole.