At bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting

"I think there could be similar [reclining] Buddhas, but I'm still searching for the 300-meter sleeping Buddha."Tarzi is one of the world's most knowledgeable experts on the giant Buddhas that were destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban regime.

By 1979, when Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan and Tarzi fled the country, he had already spent three decades studying the area and repairing the 55-meter and 38-meter standing Buddhas.

Just one month after this photo was taken, Taliban officials began to destroy the mighty carvings as part of a hard-line crackdown on anything they considered anti-Islamic and idolatrous.

Scientists from around the world have since embarked on a painstaking process to collect the remnants of the dynamited statues and reconstruct them.

When Xuanzang saw the figures, they were also decorated with gold and fine jewels.

The two Buddha figures, together with numerous ancient man-made caves in the cliffs north of the town, made Bamiyan a major regime had the statues destroyed, despite worldwide pleas to save them.

Sienese painter Duccio di Buoninsenga, for instance, one of the key innovators of the Early Renaissance period, employed the tempera medium to great effect in works such as his early fourteenth-century Maestà altarpiece for the Duomo of Siena.

The use of tempera paint traces back to the ancient world.

Yoko Taniguchi of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo and her co-workers analysed samples of Buddhist paintings in caves at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, made in the mid-seventh and early eighth centuries AD.

They say that the paint layers contain pigments apparently bound within oils, perhaps extracted from walnuts and poppy seeds.

The chief archaeologist, professor Zemaryali Tarzi, has spent years searching there for a 300-meter-long sleeping Buddha described in the journal of Xuanzang, a Chinese pilgrim who traveled to central Afghanistan around 630 A.

D."This Buddha has been found in the eastern Buddhist temple where I have been carrying out excavations for the last seven years," Tarzi says.

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