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Introduction to the Artistic Features of the Middle Yungang Grottoes

Middle Grottoes
It is the heyday of Yungang Grottoes carvings. There are mainly caves 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and the unfinished cave 3 . This period (471-494) was the Xiaowen period before the Northern Wei Dynasty moved to Luo, and it was the most stable and prosperous period of the Northern Wei Dynasty. The Yungang Grottoes gathered outstanding talents from all over the country, and they were carved out by their national strength. The more prosperous and exquisite Yungang Grottoes. Before Emperor Xiaowen moved the capital, all the big cave statues operated by the royal family had been completed, which lasted more than 40 years.

In the middle period, the plane of the caves was mostly square or rectangular. Some caves were carved with central tower pillars or front and rear chambers. The walls were laid out with multiple layers on the upper and lower floors and divided into sections on the left and right. Most of the caves had flat algae wells. The subject matter of the statues is diversified, highlighting the status of Sakyamuni and Maitreya Buddhas. Two sitting Buddhas and Sakyamuni Buddha are popular.

The gods of the Dharma, the gods of the gods, the ranks of offering people, as well as the main line of the Buddha, the original life, the karma and the Vimala Interrogation stories and so on. Buddha statues are well-rounded and well-rounded. Especially the Buddha statues with commendation and ribbons are popular. Many new themes and combinations of statues have appeared, focusing on the image of the Dharma and various decorations. The mid-term grottoes were also a period of active reform and innovation, which set off the process of Sinicization of Buddhist grotto art.

The combination of these various factors gave rise to the so-called magnificent Taihe style. The main feature is the rapid development of Sinicization. The Sinicization of grotto art started and completed during this period. This period is the middle Yungang grottoes, and it shows The artistic features of the complex and exquisitely carved carvings are very different from those of the early grottoes. The carvings pursue neat and gorgeous shapes, and there are obvious Chinese characteristics from the shape of the cave to the carving content and style.

The fifth and sixth caves are a group of double caves. The four wooden pavilions in front of the caves were built by Tong Yangliang, governor of Xuanda in the eighth year of Shunzhi in the early Qing Dynasty (1651). The rock structure is spectacular. It is the “Yungang Moyun” among the eight scenic spots in the cloud in the Ming Dynasty.

The upper layer of the two walls of the cave door each carved a leafy sacred tree, and the two Buddhas sat sideways under the tree, looking serene; the lower vajra warrior wore a double-winged crown and armor, majestic and majestic. The Buddha sitting on the north wall of the cave is 17 meters high. It is the tallest Buddha statue in the Yungang Grottoes. It is painted with mud in later generations and is in the style of the Tang Dynasty. There is a standing Buddha on the east and west walls, and the standing Buddha has a straight nose and curved eyebrows, with a slight smile, grace and grace. There is a worship road in the back wall.

The so-called largest open-air giant Buddha in Yungang Grottoes, according to folklore, refers to the Yungang Giant Buddha in the fifth cave. The Yungang Giant Buddha is the central seated statue of the third Buddha. It is very tall and can reach a height of 17 meters. The Yungang Buddha’s ears are hanging down to his shoulders, which is one of the Buddha’s traditional expressions in Chinese Buddhist classics. However, this giant Buddha not only has Chinese elements, its forehead is extremely wide, its nose is high, and its eyes and lips are thin. These are the characteristics of Outland Buddhism. Therefore, the Yungang Buddha actually represents the sinicization of Buddhism.

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