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Art Value of Dazu Grottoes

Six Transmigrations

Dazu Grottoes represents a beautiful gem in the grotto arts of China during Tang and Song dynasties. There are over 50,000 figure statues and 100, 000 Chinese characters of inscriptions and epigraphs scattered over 75 cliff carvings which are under national relics protection. The most famous ones are Baoding mountain and Beishan mountain. The sculptures and carvings are mainly about Buddhism, but Confucian and Taoist carvings are also included. Dazu Grottoes is equally famous with the Yungang Grotto, the Longmen Grotto and the Duhuang Grotto for their variety in subject matter, richness in content, and their co-existence of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

North Mountain is built on rock and the shrines of it are like beehive. It is known as "Grotto Art Exhibition Museum". The Dafowan Stone Carving of Baoding Mountain is 500 meters long and looks magnificent and splendid. South Mountain, Shizhuan Mountain and Shimen Mountian are the masterpieces of the grotto art which combines Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

Dazu Grottoes emphasizes the regular pattern of beauty and form, and it is a good example for the development of grotto art. It utilizes realistic and exaggeration skills to presents difficult shapes and emotions and also to describe different characters of people. The contents of the grottoes are easy to understand and play an important role of public education.

Regarding materials selecting, the stories come from classics, but not rigidly adhere to classics. It is comprehensive and creative. Regarding the layout, it is the perfect integration of art, religion, science and nature. As for expression way, it gives up some old patterns and creates some brand-new ways.

In a word, Dazu Grottoes creates new forms in many aspects of grotto art. It has become the model grotto which presents typical Chinese style and Chinese traditional culture. And it is also the turning point of the development of Chinese grotto art.