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Transcript
The Silk Route
Buddhist Caves
Mural Painting
Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties
• Northern Wei (Toba): 386-535
• Sui: 581-618
• Tang: 618-907
Buddhism
•
•
•
•
Mahayana Buddhism: Western Paradise (Pure Land
paradise) spread from India around the 5th century,
Esoteric Buddhism (Tang-7th) and Ch’an Buddhism
(Song-10th)
Important images are Amida Buddha (Amitabha) who
resides in the Western paradise, Maitreya Buddha (Future
Buddha) and Gyanyin (bodhisattva of Compassion)
Amida
Gyanyin (became more feminine from 1279)
Maitreya: laughing pot-bellied Buddha in China
4.12 Colossal Buddha, Cave 20, Yungang Cave, late 5th C.
(13.7 m)
Yangang Caves
• 50 caves at Yangang began around 460-490
(Capital moved to Luoyang) (contemporary
with Ajanta caves in India); located in
Shanxi.
• Cave 20 was is one of the oldest caves,
dedicated by the Toba Wei rulers.
• The Buddha seated in mediation (fifteen
meters)
Yungang Cave, late 5th C.
Sakyamuni, Yungang Cave
Dun Huang caves
• Buddhist caves situated on the Silk Route; it is an
important stopping between the N and S tracks of
the Tarim Basin.
• They were carved out of natural soft gravel cliffs;
approximately a thousand caves but only half of
them survived.
• Many were decorated with wall paintings; the
themes mainly focus in the Western Paradise of
Amitabha Buddha.
• Avalokitesvara (Chinese: Gyanyin) became highly
popular
4.17 Western paradise, Dunhuang, Tang Dynasty, late 8th c
Avalokistesvara and Gyanyin
• Bodhisattva of Compassion
• He was regarded as the guide of souls and one who bring
the blessing of many children
• Reside in the Western paradise of Amithaba
• In Chinese art, he is depicted as a male bodhisattva, like
those of India, until around the end of the 12th C (early
part of Song Dynasty)
• He gradually transform into a male figure with some
female qualities such as the body, the face, and the hands
• By the 17th century (Ming period), the male form was
replaced with more feminine form
4.18 Gyanyin as the Guide of Souls, Dunhunag, 10th c.
Lotus sutra
• Gyunyin images became feminized; represented as a
middle-aged fair lady in a white robe.
• The transformation marked the Sinification of
Avalokistesvara by the Chinese who believed in the Lotus
Sutra, which gives Ava the ability to assume innumerable
forms.
• She is depicted as a lady in white robe or a bodhisattva
with a thousand hands
Gyanyin, 12-13th C.
Pagoda
• Watchtower-like structure (from clay models made
for the dead to use afterlife)
• Represents the center of the earth, axis mundi
• Han period, exterior decorated with paint and
lacquer
• Motifs evoke the World outdoors (trees and birds)
Great Wild Goose Pagoda
Brick Pagoda of Songyuesi, Mt. Song, 520 CE
4.16 Isometric view of the timber-framing, main hall, Foguangsi temple,
Shanxi, c. 857
Three-color wares
• They were tomb deposited; earthenware with
pigments
• They vary in size from animals and tpys a few
inches high to gigantic horses, Bactrian camels,
armed men, dancers, musicians; women figurines
were predominate
• Human figurines were made in molds, with front
and back cast separately; animals were made in
several pieces
• They declined after the mid 8th century
4.19 Yen Lipen (attributed), Emperor Wu Di, the Scroll of the Emperors, Tang Dynasty,
7th c. (11th century copy)
Tang period (618-907 CE)
• It is the golden age of Chinese civilization;
expanding their territories to Korea, Vietnam, and
Central Asia
• Emperors supported trading on the Silk Road
• Emperor Wu Di
• Capitals at Luoyang and Chang’an (modern
Xi’an); population of one or two millions; it was
the most cultivated metropolitan center in the
world
• Art and literature flourished; Buddhism was
supported by the Kings
Court lady figurines, Tang period, 7th century
Camel with musicians, Tang period (618-907 CE)
Foreign attendants, Tang Dynasty (618-907), earthernware
Girl resting on a camel, Tang period,(618-907), earthenware with pigments
Horse and groom, pottery with polychrome glaze, Tang Dynasty