Buddhist Cave Paintings at Tun-Huang – Basil Gray (1959)


Buddhist Cave Paintings at Tun-Huang – Basil Gray (1959)


Title: Buddhist Cave Paintings at Tun-Huang

Author: Basil Gray, Arthur Waley (preface)

Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 1959. First American Edition.

Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Very good. Slight foxing to top edge and tanning to endpapers. 86 pages of text and about 70 pages of photographic plates, some in colour. A large book, appr. 12″ by 9″. Overseas shipping will cost extra.

SKU: gray-dunhuang Categories: , ,

A book consisting mostly of colour and black-and-white plates of the Dunhuang caves.


  1. Preface by Arthur Waley
  2. Introduction
  3. History of Tun-Huang
  4. Buddhist Painting in Central Asia and Its Influence at Tun-huang

About the Dunhuang caves (from Wikipedia):

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, form a system of 492 temples 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China. The caves may also be known as the Dunhuang Caves, however, this term is also used as a collective term to include other Buddhist cave sites in the Dunhuang area, such as the Western Thousand Buddha Caves, and the Yulin Caves farther away. The caves contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The first caves were dug out in 366 AD as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The Mogao Caves are the best known of the Chinese Buddhist grottoes and, along with Longmen Grottoes and Yungang Grottoes, are one of the three famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China.

An important cache of documents was discovered in 1900 in the so-called “Library Cave,” which had been walled-up in the 11th century. The content of the library was dispersed around the world, and the largest collections are now found in Beijing, London, Paris and Berlin, and the International Dunhuang Project exists to coordinate and collect scholarly work on the Dunhuang manuscripts and other material. The caves themselves are now a popular tourist destination, with a number open for visiting.