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Esoteric Buddhist Art Under The Nanzhao And Dali Kingdoms

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Chapter Summary

Since the rediscovery in the 1930s of the Long Scroll, a hand scroll attributed to the artist Zhang Shengwen, the Buddhist art of Yunnan, especially that associated with the Nanzhao and Dali kingdoms, began to captivate the attention of scholars both in the West and East Asia. The most important source on Esoteric Buddhist art in Nanzhao and Dali is the so-called Long Scroll. Among the Yunnanese Buddhist bronzes, it is a special iconographical form of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, the so-called Acuoye Guanyin, that is the most popular. In addition to the many pieces that have been recovered from stūpas and pagodas in the Dali area of Yunnan, many Buddhist votive images in bronze from museums and private collections have now been identified. The Chongsheng Temple in the town of Dali has three tall pagodas built in the special slender style characteristic of the Bai.

Keywords: Dali kingdom; Long Scroll; Nanzhao kingdom; Qianxun pagoda; Yunnanese Buddhist bronzes



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