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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2023, 6(9); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2023.060902.

The Embodiment of Guiyijun's Early Politics in the Cave—Centered on the Donor Portraits of Cave 156 of Mogao Grottoes


Yin Xiao

Corresponding Author:
Yin Xiao

School of History and Civilization, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, 710119, China


The Mogao Caves are a showcase for the political and public life of medieval Dunhuang, China. Grotto 156 of the Dunhuang Grottoes was sponsored by Zhang Yichao, the leader of the Guiyi Jun. In addition to the usual functions of a grotto, it has a strong political function, and the patron's portrait is a concentrated expression of this political function in Cave 156. This paper will begin with the patron portraits in Grotto 156 and, through an analysis of the identities of some of the patrons and a discussion of the arrangement of the patron portraits, attempt to decipher the complex political situation that Zhang Yichao faced during the early years of the Guiyi Jun regime and the measures that Zhang Yichao took to meet this complex challenge as reflected in the construction of his grotto of merit.


Zhang Yichao, Grotto No. 156, portraits of sponsors, politics

Cite This Paper

Yin Xiao. The Embodiment of Guiyijun's Early Politics in the Cave—Centered on the Donor Portraits of Cave 156 of Mogao Grottoes. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2023) Vol. 6, Issue 9: 13-19. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2023.060902.


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