Luoyang Longmen Grottoes, China
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Longmen Grottoes was located in the bank of Yi river, the southern suburbs of Luoyang, one of four Buddhism Grottoes in China and the protectorate of national important cultral relics. It is famous for its grand grottoes art in the world.
Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang , Yungang Grottoes in Shanxi Datong and Mogaoku Grottoes in Gansu Dunhuang are called three grottoes artistic treasure-house in China and famous in the world.
Longmen Grottoes was started to build from the year of Xiaowendi Taihe 18(494 A.D.),lasted about 400years and passed many dynasties. Its building time is the longest and the project is the largest among all cultural relics.
There are 100,000 images of Buddha and 3600 pieces of inscription kept undamaged among 2000 caves,about 40 Buddiha Towers.
Longmen Grottoes was distributed mainly in the cliff of Longmen hill and Xiang hill in two sides of Yi river, Luoyang suburbs, it is about 1000 metres long. Fengxian temple is well worth talking, it is the largest and typical open stone inscription art.
Fengxian temple is uncommon because the grand Sakyamuni Buddiha statue in it. The statue is unusual artistic masterpiece.It is 17.14meter high, its head is 4meters high, its ear is 1.9meters long. It looks very gentle and smile, its mouth angle is a little bit up, bow its head and overlook, just like a kindly and strict wiser.
All sculptures in Fengxian temple looks magnificent and harmonious. Beside Sakyamuni Buddiha statue is the statues of his followers Anan, Jiaye, Pusan, Lishi and Tianwang, etc. These statues looks kindly and modest. Look at Tanwang and Lishi, they looks powerful and brave, all these sculptures are a perfect artistic combinaition.
Another famous cave in longmen Grottoes is Bingyang cave located in the north of Longmen hill. To finish the cave cost 24years (its buildig time is the longest among all caves). There are 11 big Buddiha statues within the cave, the main statue is Sakyamuni statue with high nose, big eyes and dignified carriage which is a representative work of stone carving art in middle time of Beiwei.
There were two large types sculptures "emperor Li Fo Tu" and "Queen mother Li Fo Tu", many people were drawn up in orderly ranks and Wei Xiao Wen emperor and civilized queen mother were taken as the centre. The culpture looks very delicate and careful and have very high artistic value. It reflected emperor's life at that time.
At present, these scultures were taken away to U.S.A. and collected by Kansasichengnaerxun Art Gallery and New York Art Museum respectively in America.
Guyang cave is also famous, it located in the south of Longmen hill which is the earliest one. There are lots of statues and inscriptions, the famous 12kinds of Longmen are mainly concentrated here. Kangyouwei, scholar in Qing Dynasty praised highly the calligraphy here. They look powerful, bold and vigorous, their point and drawing are high and thick. All these often attract visitors to look again.