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12) The sage Vimalakirti. Detail of wall painting from Tun-huang cave #103. T'ang dynasty, about 750 AD. Believed to resemble the style of Wu Tao-tzu, the most famous Chinese painter of the eighth century. Wu painted mostly Buddhist scenes on temple walls, so no genuine example of his work survives. Based on contemporary literary descriptions of Wu s paintings, modern scholars believe this figure from an eighth-century Tun-huang cave may approximate his style. A characteristic Chinese brushwork has replaced the earlier Indian use of color to establish form and texture. In other words, the image is a drawing rather than a cartoon. One observer wrote of Wu s work, "...his figures remind me of sculpture. One can see them sideways and all around. His linework consists of minute curves like rolled copper wire." As in the Han example above (No. 7), depth and texture (like "sculpture") are conveyed through modulations of the brush. This slide represents the reemergence of native Chinese sensibility after centuries of Indian influence at Tun-huang.

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