The Buddha and the temple was build in 7th century, but only the Great Buddha was restored in in 17th century. The temple, being "the most magnificient building in the Southwest" was not restored due to lack of funds. Most of the temple suffered weather destruction and "head-hunters" theft of the Buddha's head (which is the most decorative part of the statues) and left holes in these beautiful statues.
During the Cultural Revolution in China, more destructions were done by the communists when they beleive that religion is "brain-washing" and non productive, until in 1982, where the Chinese (together with UNESCO) put the temple and the great Buddha under the State Protected Cltural Relics Site.
The Great Buddha is very very very Big, the Toe is about the height of a man, and in order to get to to see the Buddha, which is carved from a cliff, one has to go down a narrow single line stairs.
On the way down, you can see the ruins of the caves along the cliff, when many small Buddha halls, decorated with very fine cravings, whithered in time and theft. I took a picture of this and blog it the last time.
When I saw Marvin, a well known watercolour painter from Kuching now based in Singapore, has done a painting for UNKER FH20 on his kayaking beach, an idea grow in my mind. In the drawing of the beach, Marvin added a little boat, and completely changed the environment and the mood of the picture.
I immediately thought how wonderful it would be if Marvin can draw a painting of my "headless" Buddha, and change the mood of the pictures from incomplete to completeness.
Marvin Did, and he did a fantastic job! I am sure all of you will agree with me. You should visit his site to see the draft to final painting. A true artist restoration of history indeed.
The restored picture does look like this picture from another friend, who sends me this picture after he saw Marvin's painting, which he took at another place.
Thank you Marvin. You are really a talented artist.
* The painting depicts Amitābha, portrayed with two assistants: Avalokiteśvara (Guānyīn) who appears on his right andMahāsthāmaprāpta (Dà Shì Zhì) who appears on his left.