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Buddhist Art of The Wei Dynasty

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Although Siddhartha Gotama spread the religion of Buddhism in India, his teaching had a great impact on other countries. Buddhist first made their way to China via the silk route; this was a network of caravan tracts that linked China to the rest of central Asia to the Mediterranean region. Buddhist monks also made their way into China with Buddhist scriptures and Buddhist art in their possession. This is the first time that Buddhism made a substantial impact on the Chinese. Quickly many Chinese began to convert to the new religion that was brought into china. In fact, Buddhism would become a central aspect to culture of the Chinese. Buddhism had a great impact on the Chinese, philosophers, and Chinese emperors. Additionally, Buddhism had a great influence on Chinese art, and Buddhism was the greatest foreign influence on the artwork of the Chinese. Chinese artist would mix their traditions, with other popular Buddhist art forms from places, such as India. The arrival of Buddhism in China greatly influenced the art of China for many dynasties.
According to Art in China by Craig Clunas, the Wei Dynasty, which started in 386 and ended in 535, was an era in which Buddhism was central to the culture of both the noble and common people. For much of the Wei dynasty the artists and sculptors were slaves to the state. Different styles of Buddhist art were popular during this period. At first, the artists copied some elements from Indian Buddhist sculpture, but then they developed their own style. During the Wei most of the art produced had a connection to Buddhism, and the emperors spent a great amount of resources to have the Buddhist art pieces produced (Clunas 92-97).
According to the, biography Buddha written by Karen Armstrong, B...

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Whitfield, Roderick, Susan Whitfield, and Neville Agnew. Cave Temples of Mogao: Art and History on the Silk Road. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute and the J. Getty Museum, 2000. Print.
Armstrong, Karen. Buddha. New York: Lipper/Penguin, 2004. 66-98. Print.
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Gardner, Helen, and Fred S. Kleiner. "Chapter 1: South and South East Asia Before 1200." Gardner's Art through the Ages: Non-western Perspectives. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2010. 1-31. Print.
Clunas, Craig. "Chapter 3." Art in China. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997. 89-131. Print.
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