Hidden Light in Bamiyan!
Oil painting "originated in East"
by Vincent Dowd
Painting with oils was taking place in what is now Afghanistan centuries before such techniques were known to Europeans, researchers say.
French-based scientists have been investigating cave paintings at the ancient complex of Bamiyan.
Until 2001 two vast 6th-Century Buddhas stood at Bamiyan. Then they were blown up by Afghanistan's then-Taleban government as un-Islamic.
Behind the Buddhas was a network of caves in which monks lived and prayed.
Now a team from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble has painstakingly analysed the ancient paintings in those caves.
They say that in 12 caves 7th-Century wall-paintings were created using oil paint, derived possibly from walnuts or the poppies which grew in the area.
It is believed oil painting in Europe began only some six centuries after this. The findings suggest these may be the oldest known examples anywhere of painting with oil.
Lessons from Bamiyan
The wall-paintings were devotional art showing the Buddha, often in colourful robes.
Probably the work was carried out by itinerant artists travelling the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the West.
There are plans to reconstitute the Bamiyan Buddhas - work which everyone acknowledges would be tremendously difficult.
But even without their presence, Bamiyan has much to tell the world about an era of art which is still little understood.
The element of Fire is closest to sound and color. It is not incidental that some paintings seem to radiate; the same fire of the heart glows in them.
The manifestation of fire must be envisioned not only as a reality but as something indivisible from us. Agni Yoga
Devotional art try to catch the Subtle World, and this has many varied confirmations of the eartly world.
Therefore, the images of plants or mountains, or the surface of waters are not foreign to the Subtle World, of course in a trasformed condition.
The heart that knows the Subtle World knows flowers and mountains, and snows, and the seas. Flowers thrive in a richness of forms, and their colors are indescribably more complex than the colors of Earth; the snows are whiter and more crystalline and richer than those of Earth...thus , the man who has stored up a clear and benevolent consciousness on Earth will also be a good builder in the Subtle World...
It is a sign of the New Era that in the ancient complex of Bamiyan, with this discovery, they didn't succeed to blow up the Hidden Light of the Afghan's caves!