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Murals in Fahai Temple


Fahai Temple, situated at the foot of south side of Cuiwei Mountain, 20 kilometers away from Beijing downtown, was originally called Longquan Temple and later renamed Fahai Temple after the reconstruction in the fourth year to eighth year (1439-1443) of the Zhengtong reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Temple was repaired again between the 17th year (1504) of the Hongzhi reign up to the first year (1506) of the Zhengde reign of the Ming Dynasty. 

The halls were built according to the geological situation and scaled upward along the mountain. The Hall of Doctrine Guarding Buddha's Warrior Attendants houses the towers of bell and drum on the left and right sides. On the high platform there are the former sites of the Heavenly King Hall, Jialan Hall and Master Hall and two corridors. The Main Hall sits in the middle.

In the temple, the background of Buddha altar is painted wit propitious clouds drawn with smooth drawing lines and painted with bright colors. Large-scale paintings of flowers such as rose, peony, palm, and lotus are painted on the walls, and the paintingAll Buddhas Attending the Meetingis on the upper part of the walls. On the north wall there is the paintingGod Explains Sanskrit in Heaven, on which the gods in different postures and with different characteristics are arranged vividly in a uniform layout and the same action.

The Buddhist figures on murals of Fahai Temple have a distinct characteristic of that time. The whole mural embodies the traditional creation since the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Song Dynasty (907-1279), and reflects the highest level of mural painting skills of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Due to the use of valuable painting materials and elaborate painting techniques, the murals of Fahai Temple hold an important status in the aesthetic history of China and reflect the splendor of imperial architecture.

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