Title:Buddhist Painting of Tun-Huang: In the National Museum, New Delhi
Remarks:Colour Photographs and Index.
Size:250 x 318 mm
The Tun-huang caves are the sparkle of Buddhist art over the centuries. Situated at the foot of the Mountain of Singing Sands, they are the brush of the Buddha, where an itinerant monk Yeh-tsun watched the irridescent peaks in the sheen of blue satin, settled down to excavate the first cave in AD 344, and to paint its walls with colours brought by birds as the folk legend has it. Speechless with joy, he had begun a long journey of a thousand years of Buddhist meditation in the dazzling ecstasies of murals, scrolls and sculptures. This book reproduces and describes for the first time the paintings from Tun-huang in the National Museum, New Delhi. The 143 best scrolls have been narrated whose colours are still radiant images of the divine. The National Museum is one of the three major repositories of the Tun-huang paintings, the others being the British Museum London and the Muse Guimet, Paris. While the two latter collections have been published, this book fulfills a long-felt need and will cover a major lacuna of research in presenting the third large repository. The introduction traces the history of Tun-huang from the dreams of Chinese emperors to control the Deep Sands, the role of Yeh-chihs, the excavation of the first cave, the folk legends, the iconography of the paintings, the three periods of the art of murals from AD 397-1368, etc. The scrolls from Tun-huang are the charm of these caverns that once drew humans to their depths.