These links take you to books studying the Chinese Buddhist Grottoes. Of all the books published in English, most are dedicated to research on the Mogao Grottoes locating along the Silk Road, which were used to link China with West.
The Mogao grottoes, a World Heritage Site near Dunhuang in western China, are located along the ancient caravan routes--collectively known as the Silk Road--that once linked China with the West. Founded by Buddhist monks in the late fourth century, Mogao grew gradually over the following millennium, as monks, local rulers, and travelers carved hundreds of cave temples into a mile-long rock cliff and adorned them with vibrant murals portraying Buddhist scripture, Silk Road rulers, and detailed scenes of everyday life. The sixty-five papers address such topics as the principles and practices of wall paintings conservation; site and visitor management; scientific research, particularly in the environmental and geotechnical aspects of conservation; and relevant historical and art historical research.
The Mogao grottoes in northwestern China, located near the town of Dunhuang on the fabled Silk Road, constitute one of the world's most significant sites of Buddhist art. Preserved in some five hundred caves carved into rock cliffs at the edge of the Gobi Desert are one thousand years of exquisite wall paintings and sculpture. Founded by Buddhist monks in the late fourth century, Mogao grew into an artistic and spiritual center whose renown extended from the Chinese capital to the far western kingdoms of the Silk Road. Among its treasures are 45,000 square meters of murals, more than 2,000 statues, and some 50,000 medieval silk paintings and illustrated manuscripts. This sumptuous catalogue accompanies an exhibition of the same name, which will run from May 7 through September 4, 2016, at the Getty Center. Organized by the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Research Institute, Dunhuang Academy, and Dunhuang Foundation, the exhibition celebrates a decadeslong collaboration between the GCI and the Dunhuang Academy to conserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It presents, for the first time in North America, a collection of objects from the so-called Library Cave, including illustrated sutras, prayer books, and other exquisite treasures, as well as three full-scale, handpainted replica caves. This volume includes essays by leading scholars, an illustrated portfolio on the replica caves, and comprehensive entries on all objects in the exhibition.
The Mogao Grottoes form a system of 492 temples 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The first caves were dug out 366 CE as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China. An important cache of documents was discovered in 1900 in the so-called "Library Cave," which had been walled-up in the 11th century. The content of the library was dispersed around the world, and largest collections are now found in Beijing, London, Paris and Berlin, and the International Dunhuang Project exists to coordinate and collect scholarly work on the Dunhuang manuscripts and other material. The caves themselves are now a popular tourist destination, with a number open for visiting.
Donors of Longmen is the first work in a Western language to re-create the history of the Longmen Grottoes, one of China's great stone sculpture treasure houses. Longmen, a UNESCO World Heritage site located near the old capital of Luoyang in modern Henan Province, consists of thousands of ancient cave chapels and shrines containing Buddhist icons of all sizes that were carved into the towering limestone cliffs from the fifth to the eighth centuries. Beyond its superb sculpture, Longmen also preserves thousands of engraved dedicatory inscriptions by its donors, who included emperors and empresses, aristocrats, court eunuchs, artisans, monks, nuns, lay societies, female palace officials, male civil and military officials, and ordinary lay believers.
At the Mogao Grottoes, a World Heritage site near Dunhuang city in Gansu Province, visitor numbers have increased inexorably since 1979 when the site opened. A national policy that identifies tourism as a pillar industry, along with pressure from local authorities and businesses to encourage more tourism, threatens to lead to an unsustainable situation for management, an unsafe and uncomfortable experience for visitors and irreparable damage to the fragile art of the cave temples for which the site is famous. In the context of the comprehensive visitor management plan developed for the Mogao Grottoes, a multi-year study began in 2001 as a joint undertaking of the Dunhuang Academy and the Getty Conservation Institute to determine the impact of visitation on the painted caves and develop strategies for sustainable visitation such that, once implemented, these threats would be resolved. The methodological framework featured a major research and assessment component that integrates visitor studies; laboratory investigations; environmental monitoring; field testing and condition assessment to address the issues affecting the grottoes and visitors. Results from this component led to defining limiting conditions, which were the basis for establishing a visitor capacity policy for the grottoes and developing long-term monitoring and management tools.
With almost 4000 years of artistic evolution - from the Shang Dynasty to the end of the Ch'ing in this century - the Chinese boast a longer span of cultural history than any other race. The abiding influence of tradition is stressed by both authors. Confucian restraint and Taoist escapism, among other religious and philosophical ideals, are constantly re-appearing and the importance of Buddhism in Chinese architecture is evidenced in the text and illustrations. But side by side with the world of the mind, conditions of material prosperity are also revealed as potent forces in art.
The cave temples of Mogao are near Dunhuang at the extreme western end of the Silk Road in China. Founded by Buddhist monks in the fourth century, the caves were inhabited as an isolated monastery for over 1,000 years. The murals with which the caves were decorated create one of the finest examples of Buddhist art in China, reflecting the changing styles of Chinese art for more than a millennium. The caves were also the repository of many other treasures, including works on silk and paper as well as tens of thousands of Buddhist manuscripts. The site itself, on the fringes of the Gobi desert, is one of great beauty and historical resonance. This book examines 50 of the finest caves in detail. Richly illustrated and beautifully designed, it gives an unparalleled introduction to the site, the quality of the murals and the other contents, and outlines one of the most fascinating stories in Asian history.
Mogao flourished over the following millennium, as monks, local rulers, and travelers commissioned hundreds of cave temples cut into a mile-long rock cliff and adorned them with vibrant murals. More than 490 decorated grottoes remain, containing thousands of sculptures and some 45,000 square meters of wall paintings, making Mogao one of the world's most significant sites of Buddhist art. In 1997 the Getty Conservation Institute, which had been working with the Dunhuang Academy since 1989, began a case study using the Late-Tang dynasty Cave 85 to develop a methodology that would stabilize the deteriorating wall paintings. This abundantly illustrated volume is the definitive report on the project, which was completed in 2010.
The first-ever comprehensive analysis of its kind in any western language, this unique volume provides a social art history of Yungang: a 5th-century rock-cut court cave complex, UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the greatest Buddhist monuments of all time. Yungang asks why, when, and under what circumstances this impressive cave sanctuary was made, and who played significant roles at various stages. Recent economic changes in China including the expansion of roads have led to unprecedented numbers of objects being unearthed on site and near the cave-chapels. Archaeological discoveries in 2010 have shed significant new light on the architectural configuration of monasteries in the capital and the functions of different sections of the cave complex, as well as monastic life within it. For the first time, it is possible to reconstruct where the monks lived and translated sacred literary texts, and to fully understand that freestanding monasteries are an important component of the rock-cut cave complex. Illustrated throughout with remarkable full-colour photographs, this re-examination of the cave-chapels, which brings together previous scholarship, primary documentation, and more than a decade of first-hand field research, will not only fill in the gaps in our knowledge about Yungang, but also raise, and perhaps answer, new questions in art history.