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Archaeology -- sculpture and wall paintings

Individual Documents

Title: Deep Change? Burmese Wall Paintings from the Eleventh to the Nineteenth Centuries
Date of publication: 2006
Description/subject: "This article will compare the narrative constructions of early (eleventh to thirteenth centuries) and late (seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries) Burmese wall paintings to determine whether or not "deep change� has occurred. Although many of the same stories were depicted in the murals during both time periods, the method by which the visual stories were portrayed changed from an emphasis upon iconic imagery to an exploration of narrative process. By analyzing the narrative modes employed during the two periods, the emphases of each are revealed. The changes that occurred in the Burmese murals most likely relate to the increasing orthodoxy of Burmese Theravada Buddhism and strengthening crown control over the country. Because the teleological purpose of the murals remains virtually identical, however, it is argued that no "deep change� occurred in the murals between the eleventh and nineteenth centuries."
Author/creator: Alexandra Green
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Journal of Burma Studies" Vol. 10, (2005/06)
Format/size: pdf (7.41MB) html
Alternate URLs: 
Date of entry/update: 31 December 2008

Title: The Narrative Murals of Tilokaguru Cave-Temple - A Reassessment after Jane Terry Bailey
Date of publication: September 2005
Description/subject: "In 1973, Jane Terry Bailey set out on her journey to Burma. Despite various technical problems with her camera, she managed to produce three articles, in 1976, 1978, and 1979 respectively, on Burmese wall paintings from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. While these bear evidence of some of her difficulties, they amply illustrate the variety of styles of painting found in post- Pagan Burma. In re-working and adding to some of Bailey’s story identifications, it is possible to view the murals at Tilokaguru cave-temple more closely within a religious context. Religion, more than the style of the paintings, was clearly of paramount importance to the Burmese who contributed to the construction and decoration of the cave. The connection between the organisation of the murals and the architecture is evident, as is a hierarchical vertical progression from Hell near the floor of the cave to Enlightenment near the ceiling. Clearly, Jane Terry Bailey’s work just began to uncover the richness of wall paintings in Burma, and there is much yet to explore."
Author/creator: Alexandra Green
Language: English
Source/publisher: SOAS Bulletin of Burma Research, Vol. 3, No. 2, Autumn 2005,
Format/size: pdf (866K)
Alternate URLs: http://web.archive.org/web/20070930165556/web.soas.ac.uk/burma/3_2.htm
Date of entry/update: 03 October 2010