The Art of chinese Landscape Painting Author:Anil de Silva In western China, on the great silk road, lies the ancient city of Tun-huang, famous for its great Buddhist shrine, consisting of no fewer than 469 caves carved out of a sandy cliff. Founded in the 4th century AD its wealth of wall-paintings and other valuable works of art was produced during successive dynasties-the Sui, the T'ang and the Sung... more » in particular. Few persons outside China have set eyes upon this extraordinary body of paints. Anil de Silva had the good fortune to do so and to take photographs of them in color, many of which are published here for the firt time.
She shows that Tun-huang was no mere provincial site, for its while served as intermediary for Western influences, it also gave expression to the mainstream of the Chinese art tradition, providing a comprehensive analysis of the development of style, themes and techniques in Chinese landscape painting. To the Chinese, some subjects symbolize religious concepts and divine beings; others convey the deep respect and love the Chinese have always flet for the natural world-for mountains, trees, water, dark clouds and falling leaves, all expressing the underlying philosophic principle of order, li. In Tun-huang, we fine "the breath of the spirit that sings through the flaming lacquers and Wei reliefs with a poignant immediacy' that belongs only to Chinese art.« less