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Essays and Studies in the Art of Kucha

 
Ines Konczak- Nagel (Author) Monika Zin (Author) Leipzig Kucha Studies
Synopsis

The series Leipzig Kucha Studies, in which seventeen volumes are planned, aims at publishing the results of the long-term research project (2016–2030) “Buddhist Murals of Kucha on the Northern Silk Road”. The project, conducted under the auspices of the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, focuses on an impressive corpus of wall paintings datable to approximately the fifth to tenth centuries CE and located in the Buddhist cave complexes of the ancient kingdom of Kucha on the Northern Silk Road. These narrative and devotional paintings form one of the most important sources for our understanding of the religious and intellectual history of Buddhism in Central Asia during the first millennium. The project is devoted to recording and annotating all surviving paintings of the region, including the fragments that were removed from their original sites as well as destroyed murals from which only drawings and historical photographs remain. The first study by Ines Konczak-Nagel, “Painted Buddhist Cosmology: The Picto­rial Programme of Central Pillar Caves in Kizil”, demonstrates how Buddhist cosmo­lo­gy, always seen in connection with the Buddhist path of salvation, is represented in the selection of topics and the arrangement of paintings on the cave walls. The second study by the same author, “Re­pre­sentations of Architecture and Archi­tec­tu­ral Elements in the Wall Paintings of Kucha”, is part of an ongoing extensive analysis of the material culture depicted in the paintings. The architecture represented provides insights into the local Tocharian architecture of Kucha, which has since disappeared. The study of Monika Zin, “The Monk Kāśyapa in Kucha, the First Council, and the Furtherance of Buddhist Teaching” examines the inclusion of multi-scenic re­pre­­sen­ta­tions of the first council at Rājagṛha into the sequence of paintings illustrating the events connected with Buddha’s death. There is good reason to believe that the monk Mahākāśyapa who according to le­gend convoked the council was wor­shipped in Kucha as a saintly guardian watching over the perpetuation of the Buddhist teachings.

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About the author
In the spotlight

Monika Zin

Monika Zin taught Indian art history at the Ludwig-Maximilans-Universitat in Munich and the Freie Universität Berlin from 1994 to 2016. Among her research contributions are monographs such as Ajanta: Handbook of the Paintings. Devotional and Ornamental Paintings, Harrassowitz 2003 (English edition currently pending publication at the IGNCA); Compassion and Miracles: Difficult Conversions and Their Icono­graphy in Indian Buddhism (in German, Harrassowitz 2006); Samsaracakra: The Wheel of Rebirth in the Indian Tradition (together with Dieter Schlingloff, in German, EKŌ House of Japanese Culture, 2007) and numerous articles on the identification of narrative art and Indian drama. Since 2016, Prof. Zin has led the research team of the Centre ‘Buddhist Murals of Kucha on the Northern Silk Road’ at the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig/Leipzig University.

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Bibliographic information

Title Essays and Studies in the Art of Kucha
Format Hardcover
Date published: 17.03.2020
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789387496255
length ix+238p., Illustrations; (Black and White, and Colour); 29cm.