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Book Cover
Author Ning, Qiang

Title Art, religion, and politics in medieval China : the Dunhuang cave of the Zhai Family / Ning Qiang
Published Honolulu : University of Hawaiì Press, [2004]


Description 1 online resource (xv, 178 pages) : illustrations (some color), map
Contents Chronology of the Mogao Caves -- Ch. 1. Iconography of the Original Early Tang Paintings: A Reexamination -- Ch. 2. Reconstruction: Historical Layers of the Zhai Family Cave -- Ch. 3. Historical and Cultural Values of the Zhai Family Cave -- App. 1. Illustrations of the Bhaisajya-guru Sutra in the Mogao Caves -- App. 2. Illustrations of the Western Paradise in the Mogao Caves -- App. 3. Illustrations of the Vimalakirti-nirdesa Sutra in the Mogao Caves
Summary The cave-temple complex popularly known as the Dunhuang caves is the world's largest extant repository of Tang Buddhist art. Among the best preserved of the Dunhuang caves is the Zhai Family Cave, built in 642. It is this remarkable cave-temple that forms the focus of Ning Qiang's cross-disciplinary exploration of the interrelationship of art, religion, and politics during the Tang. The author combines, in his careful examination of the paintings and sculptures found there, the historical study of pictures with the pictorial study of history. By employing this two-fold approach, he is able to refer to textual evidence in interpreting the formal features of the cave temple paintings and to employ visual details to fill in the historical gaps inevitably left by text-oriented scholars. The result is a comprehensive analysis of the visual culture of the period and a vivid description of social life in medieval China. The original Zhai Family Cave pictures were painted over in the tenth century and remained hidden until the early 1940s. Once exposed, the early artwork appeared fresh and colorful in comparison with other Tang paintings at Dunhuang. The relatively fine condition of the Zhai Family Cave is crucial to our understanding of the original pictorial program found there and offers a unique opportunity to investigate the visual details of the original paintings and sculptures in the cave. At the same time, the remaining traces of reconstruction and redecoration provide a new perspective on how, for over three centuries, a wealthy Chinese clan used its familial cave as a political showcase
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 161-169) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Buddhist art -- China -- Dunhuang Caves
Art, Chinese -- Tang-Five dynasties, 618-960.
Buddhist mural painting and decoration -- China -- Dunhuang Caves
Mural painting and decoration, Chinese -- China -- Dunhuang Caves
ART -- Techniques -- Painting.
ART -- History -- General.
Art, Chinese -- Tang-Five dynasties
Buddhist art
Buddhist mural painting and decoration
Mural painting and decoration, Chinese
Buddhistisk konst.
Dunhuang Caves (China)
China -- Civilization -- 221 B.C.-960 A.D.
China -- Dunhuang Caves
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780824861490