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Serindia Publications
PO Box 10335
Chicago, IL  60610-0335
TEL312-664-5531
FAX312-664-4389
EMAIL  info@serindia.com
 
 

Description

< 1 | 2 | 3 >

  Size:   269 x 370 mm
10.5 x 14.5 in
 
  Volumes:   3  
  Pages:   1020  
  Color:   600  
  B/W:   192  
  Binding:   Hardcover & Slipcased  
  Published:   March 1982  
  ISBN:   0-87011-474-3  
 
 

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The Art of Central Asia: The Stein Collection in the British Museum
Roderick Whitfield
For the first time since their discovery in May 1907 the British Museum collection of paintings from Dunhuang is to be published on a lavish scale in its entirety, except for a few fragments, together with many important and hitherto unpublished materials details in color and black and white. This collection, one of the main treasures of the British Museum, is for reasons of conservation only exhibited occasionally, and can now be appreciated by a wider public.

Volume 1, Paintings from Dunhuang I, is devoted to the paintings on silk, from the eighth to the end of the ninth century. This series of larger paintings, arranged in approximate chronological order, is preceded by a representative selection of the dated manuscripts in the British Library, and followed by the famous banner paintings on silk, showing scenes from the life of the Buddha or individual Bodhisattvas and guardian kings.

Volume 2, Paintings from Dunhuang II, continues the chronological presentation of paintings on silk, from the late ninth to the late tenth century (exceptionally, a few earlier paintings are also included). New themes such as the Bodhisattva Guide of Souls, and the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, the latter often in company with the Ten Kings of Hell, are added to the already popular Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Succourer in Trouble, and show an increasing concern among Buddhist followers for personal salvation. But while donors themselves are more splendidly arrayed in fine costumes, this period reveals less variety in coloring and artistic skill, due to the increasing isolation of Dunhuang from metropolitan China to the late Tang and during the Five Dynasties.

Volume 3, Textiles, Sculpture and Other Arts, presents a selection of the most beautiful examples of textiles, wall paintings and paintings on panels, sculpture, pottery and wood carvings, grouped according to the sites where they were found. The textiles are chosen entirely from those found at Dunhuang. In view of their close association with the paintings (many of them originally were used as headpieces or borders for banners), the selection has been as comprehensive as possible. They are arranged and discussed according to technique, including embroideries, gauzes, damasks, plain and pound weaves, and printed fabrics. While the majority are small fragments, several complete items are of special interest: the great embroidery of the Buddha preaching at the Vulture Peak, covers for sutra rolls, and altar valance and a patchwork altar cloth.