Examining Manichean Artworks Recovered from Western China with a Look at the Two Concepts of "Liberation" and "Return of Light"*

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Student in Philosophy of Art, Islamic Azad University, Shahrud Branch, Shahrud, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Art Research, University of Arts, Tehran, Iran


One of the important theoretical and technical sources of Iranian art in the past centuries is Manichean art. In the area where Manichean thought has penetrated, the artworks recovered in Western China are very significant. This importance is primarily due to the number of artworks left from this land, and then due to the high technical level of those works compared to other Manichaean regions. Since most of the researchers have studied the techniques used in these works, the author of this paper has tried to examine the Manichaean works recovered in Western China with a philosophical and wisdom perspective, and seeks to analyze how they influenced and were influenced in connection with the most important school in that area, namely Mahayana Buddhism, as well as the native art of the region, namely Uyghur art. In this article, two Manichean concepts/ideas of "liberation" and "return of light" have been examined for a better explanation.


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