16. Sudhana and the water-drawing kinnari's
In the middle of the scene against rocky background and surrounded by trees, is the lotus-pond that provides water for the princess's bath. Quite on the left, its door and steps turned towards the spectator, is a building, perhaps the palace of the kinnara-king, or it may be only an indication that the kinnara-city is near to. In the opposite corner of the relief the prince sits under a tree. The water-carrying attendants approach from the right with empty vessels, round and oblong ones with a handle; to the left of the pond we see the filled water-pot's held in the hand or carried on the head towards the city; one maiden on the same side is just lowering her vessel into the pond. In front of the prince a kinnar1 kneels, giving him the required information She has set down the pot in front of her, and Sudhana has evidently just dropped the ring into it with his right hand. As Foucher has observed I), the sculptor has not kept to the text which tells us that this was done without its being seen; the kinnari here must know all about it.
This relief is a fine work of art; the sculptor must have worked at it with greet pleasure. We can see with what care the pond has been carved, the lotus flowers and leaves, the birds disporting themselves in the water and especially the little delicate plants on the edge of it in front. Above all, we admire the graceful figures of the maidens to which he has given such charm. As regards composition and the execution of details, this beautiful relief is certainly one of the best on the Barabudur, undoubtedly the work of a great artist.