- Northern Wei sculpture
Chinese sculpture, dominated by simple images of the Buddha, dating from the era of the Northern Wei dynasty (AD 386–534/535).The art represents the first major influence of Buddhism on China, and may be divided into two major periods. The first style (с 452–494), an amalgam of foreign influences traceable to the Buddhist art of India, is characterized by heavy stylization of blocky volumes. The second style (с 494–535) clothes the Buddha in the costume of the Chinese scholar and emphasizes a sinuous cascade of drapery falling over an increasingly flattened figure.
* * *▪ Chinese artChinese sculpture, dating from the Northern Wei period (AD 386–534/535) of the Six Dynasties, that represents the first major Buddhist (Buddhism) influence on Chinese art. Produced in the northern territory that was occupied and ruled by foreign invaders and that was quick to respond to Buddhism, Northern Wei sculpture is distinct from the more traditional indigenous art produced in the south, which was ruled by native Chinese dynasties.Few examples of Northern Wei sculpture survive from before about AD 450. From 446 to 452, Buddhism was under attack; it was quickly restored to favour, however, and there followed a major period of Buddhist art featuring various iconographic types, with simple images of the Buddha predominating. Northern Wei sculpture may be divided into two major periods: the first from immediately following the persecution to 494, when the capital of the Northern Wei was moved from the northern city of Pingcheng (the present Datong, Shanxi province) to the ancient centre of Chinese civilization, Luoyang (Henan province); and the second from 494 to the end of the Northern Wei period. The style of the first period is a curious amalgam of foreign influences that is ultimately traceable to the Buddhist art of India; this work emphasizes the heavy stylization of blocky volumes, giving a certain naive and archaic quality to the figures, as seen in the Yungang caves. While this style did not disappear entirely, it was ultimately replaced in the second phase of Northern Wei sculpture by a very different Chinese, or Longmen, style, which clothes the Buddha in the costume of the Chinese scholar. The latter style emphasizes a svelte and sinuous cascade of drapery falling over an increasingly flattened figure, as seen in the Longmen caves.
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sculpture — sculptural, adj. sculpturally, adv. /skulp cheuhr/, n., v., sculptured, sculpturing. n. 1. the art of carving, modeling, welding, or otherwise producing figurative or abstract works of art in three dimensions, as in relief, intaglio, or in the… … Universalium
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northern — northernness, n. /nawr dheuhrn/, adj. 1. lying toward or situated in the north. 2. directed or proceeding northward. 3. coming from the north, as a wind. 4. (often cap.) of or pertaining to the North, esp. the northern U.S. 5. Astron. north of… … Universalium
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Yungang caves — or Yün kang caves Series of magnificent Chinese Buddhist cave temples, created in the 5th century AD during the Northern Wei dynasty period. There are about 20 major cave temples and many smaller niches and caves, stretching for over half a mile … Universalium
Longmen caves — or Lung men caves Series of Chinese cave temples carved into the rock of a high riverbank south of Luoyang, in Henan province. Construction began late in the Northern Wei dynasty (AD 386–535) and continued sporadically through the 6th century and … Universalium
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