Gugong Museum: FANTIAN DONGTU BING DILIAN HUA: GONGYUAN 400-700 NIAN YINDU YU ZHONGGUO DIAOSU YISHU DAZHAN. Across the Silk Road: Gupta Sculptures and Their Chinese Counterparts during 400-700 AD. Beijing, 2016. 546; 198 pp. Colour plates, (the majority full page) throughout volume one, numerous b/w text illustrations to volume two. 2 vols. 38x27 cm. Cloth.
Large and impressive two-volume catalogue accompanying a superb and memorable exhibition at the Gugong Museum in Beijing showing highly-important and rare Indian and Chinese Buddhist sculpture dating from 400-700 AD, a period of prime importance for the transmission of Buddhism from India into, and within, China.
The sculptures loaned from India, together with the sculptures from China, truly demonstrate and illustrate the influence of the Indian Buddhist sculptural tradition in the transmission of Buddhist art to China, and the stylistic progression and development of Buddhist sculptural art within China during this early period of Buddhism in China. The catalogue shows a total of 130 Indian and 119 Chinese examples of statuary, the large majority shown at the exhibition itself. The Indian sculptures date from the Gupta period, whilst the Chinese statuary dates from the Sixteen Kingdoms, Northern Wei, Eastern Wei, Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Northern Qi, Southern Qi, Southern Liang, Sui and Tang dynasties. The Chinese material includes Qingzhou statuary.
Volume One is entirely in Chinese and illustrates the exhibits and other reference pieces in fine full page colour plates. Accompanied by essays.
Volume Two is the English text volume and gives good detailed descriptions of all the sculptures illustrated in Volume One. There are also English translations of the essays in the first volume as follows: Luo: The Dissemination of the Gupta Artistic Style in China; Chandra & Sharma: Echoes of the Gupta Idiom in Chinese Art; Rong: The Evolution of Chinese Cultural Diversity with Reference to the China-India Silk Road (400-700 AD); Singh: The Gupta Empire: Historical Perspectives; Joseph: Gupta Art: The Grand Synthesis.
This catalogue is not generally available in China as the large majority of the edition has apparently been reserved by the Gugong Museum as official gifts or for the museums in China hosting the exhibition and the 35 institutions in India and China who have loaned the sculptures. We have managed to obtain a few copies.
Available, as of: 19/05/2017
Was item 19 in printed List 187.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.