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Anyue Stone Carving

Located in Anyue county in the east of sichuan provice, Anyue stone carving is a group of ancient stone sculptures featuring Chinese Buddhist and Taoist cultures. It is with high art value but less well-known thank those most popular grottoes like Yungang, Dunhuang and Dazu stone carvings. It is not a very touristic place, so most the statues are very well protected.

The carved stone holds a special status in the Chinese history of stone carving art, carrying on the artistic styles of the Yungang and Longmen Grottoes and ushering in the creation of Dazu Carved Stone,for which Anyue is honored as 'the home of Chinese folk art (stone carving)'.
 
According to historical records, the golden age of sculpture creation was the 400  or so years during the mid-Tang Dynasty to the late northern Song Dynasty. Today, there are 45 sculpture sites kept intact, including Lying Buddha Temple, Yuanjue Cave, Huayan Cave, Mingshan Temple and Xuanmiao Temple etc. There are a total of 100,000 sculpture images. The most striking features of these images are their long history, large number, exquisiteness and beauty. Most of the creations are Buddhist images and a small number of the sculptures are dedicated to Taoists.

There are also some works depicting real life in society. Only a handful of the images are created in a rugged style that was prevalent in the Wei and Jin dynasties, most others are in the Tang dynasty style, characterized by a full body with dignified and graceful bearing. There are also some creations with the Song Dynasty style - exquisite images adorned with jewelry. The sculptures are mostly created according to the natural rock and mountain shapes with creative arrangement. One can't help but marvel the superb skills and ingenuity of the ancient artists.
 

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