The most permanent impermanent – Oldest oil paintings in Afghanistan

This is pretty cool, especially considering that a) the philosophy of the Buddha was about the impermanance of all things and b) it’s in Bamayan region of Afghanistan – well associated with the destruction of the giant stone Buddhas there by the taliban in 2001 – and these paintings are the earliest oils known.

This story is from Discovery News.

The giant stone buddhas are blown-up. Much gnashing of teeth. Seven years later, more, and rarer images show up in a hidden cave.

Afghanistan is so widely associated with Islam and the taliban, that it’s easy to forget how important the region was in terms of the Buddhist way for several hundred years. It was a center of study and art and monasteries.

I hope these paintings are kept safe and sound. If not, never fear. It’s all about impermanence anyway…

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