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Treasured oriental Buddhist murals

Updated : 2015-04-23

Treasured oriental Buddhist murals

Murals on the west wall, Sakyamuni is preaching to the masses [Photo/wutaishan.city.sohu.com]

Yanshan Temple in Tianyan county, Shanxi province, near the Mount Wutai scenic area, was built around the year 1079, during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127), and has undergone numerous reconstructive efforts throughout its history.

The temple is known primarily for its murals covering the 98 meters of walls in Manjusri Hall, which were painted in 1167, during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 - 1279), by 68-year-old Wang Kui, who spent 10 years on the extraordinary work, mainly consisting of Buddhist stories. The west wall, for example, tells the story of Sakyamuni, while the east wall shows the crown prince cutting off his flesh to feed his parents as they flee from the enemy, showing filial piety. The north wall shows temples and 500 tradesmen in a shipwreck who are saved by a Buddhist goddess and the south wall is about a variety of palaces, pavilions and ancient buildings sheltering large crowds of people.

Treasured oriental Buddhist murals

Murals on the west wall [Photo/wutaishan.city.sohu.com]

The figures in the murals are meticulously painted with different gestures and vivid expressions, while the architecture has rich colors and decorations, all reflecting the achievements of classical Chinese art. The works are quite rare for Chinese wall painting and important historical pieces for the study of religion, architecture and fine arts of the Song.

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