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date: 17 October 2019

Longmen [Lung-men]locked

  • Molly Siuping Ho

Extract

[Lung-men]

Site of Buddhist cave temples located 12 km south of Luoyang, Henan Province, China. From the end of the 6th century ad to the mid-8th century many caves were excavated into the low limestone hills that run along the northern and southern banks of the Yi River. The sculptures and reliefs they contain, also carved from the living rock, range in size from the small to the colossal. Work was begun under the patronage of the Northern Wei dynasty (ad 386–534), the capital of which was moved in ad 493–4 from Datong, Shanxi Province, to Luoyang. Construction continued until 755, the year of the rebellion of An Lushan against the Tang dynasty (ad 618–907). The caves thus provide evidence both of the development of Buddhist sculpture and of the imperial patronage of the Northern Wei and Tang dynasties between the late 5th century ad and the mid-8th century. The scale and ambition of the project is evoked in the ...

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