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10) The Buddha incarnate in a golden gazelle. Wall painting at Tun-huang, western China. Cave 257, Northern Wei, about 450 AD. A fine example of early Buddhist wall painting at Tun-huang, the famous Buddhist cultural complex on the Silk Road between China and the West. The slide represents a story of how the Buddha, here represented in an earlier reincarnation as a gazelle saves a drowning man by allowing the man to ride across the river on his back (lower left). Having crossed to the other side, the man bows down to thank the Buddha/gazelle (center). This painting, like many at Tun-huang, shows how the painter struggled to represent a narrative story in visual images. In short, the artist chooses particular scenes from the text and depicts these one after another without break in a continuous visual narrative, extending in the case from left to right. In this painting, the Indian attention to mass and color have eclipsed the native Chinese attention to brushwork (see No. 7), but as the years passed at Tun-huang, the art of the caves would develop more traditional Chinese lines (see No. 12). The saw-tooth hills at top center later became a standard way to portray mountains in T'ang art.

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