Calligraphy & Painting        
Dunhuang Mural Art
grotto paintings of great value
Dunhuang Murals are paintings in the grottoes featuring the greatest number, the largest scale, the richest content and the finest art skills. They provide valuable information of various aspects of ancient China and reflect the art communication between China and the western countries.

From the 4th until the 14th century, Buddhist monks at Dunhuang collected scriptures from the west while many pilgrims passing through the area painted murals inside the caves. The oldest caves contain traditional, Indian-inspired Buddhist art. The style of the paintings gradually changed over time from the strongly Indian influenced towards a more Chinese way of illustration. The cave paintings and architecture served as aids to deep thought about spiritual matters, as visual representations of the quest for enlightenment and as teaching tools to inform the Chinese about Buddhist beliefs and stories. The murals cover 42,000 square meters.

Dunhuang murals can be divided into six main categories: Buddha Figures, Jingbian Painting (an art form employing paintings and literature to make Buddhist easy to understand), Legendary Mura, Almsgivers' Figures (figures of those who believe in Buddhism and finance the building of grottoes), Decorative Painting and Story Painting.
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