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Ly-Tran Fine Arts, where religious ideology goes deeply into art


With a society imbued with Buddhist monarchy, Ly - Tran's fine arts also imbued with Buddhist fine arts.


The fine arts are considered "Buddhist fine arts in a period of youth, independence, autonomy and prosperity" (according to Ms. Nguyen Hai Yen, fine arts researcher). This is reflected in the architecture, sculpture and ceramics that have survived and been excavated.

  During the Ly Dynasty, Thang Long Imperial Citadel represented royal fine arts. Buddhist art is more outstanding. Old history describes extremely majestic and majestic pagodas with large areas, prime locations, sturdy and balanced structures, and towers tens of meters high. Decorating these buildings are elaborate works of painting and sculpture. Typical examples include Dien Huu Pagoda, Phat Tich Pagoda, Tuong Long Pagoda, Chuong Son Pagoda...

  Patterns of lotus flowers, multi-petal chrysanthemums, clouds and the image of Ly Dragon nestled in half of a Bodhi leaf appear a lot, carved delicately and softly at Buddhist temples and architectural works of the Ly Dynasty... All of these are deep imprints of Buddhism on architectural artifacts in the capital city of Thang Long. These are not only common decorative styles but also contain the profound religious ideology of the Ly - Buddhist period.


The fluctuating historical context with three attacks against the Mongols, along with the Buddhist concept of the Tran kings, also caused the art scene at that time to develop in a different direction.

  The fine art of the Tran Dynasty was a continuation and development of the fine art of the Ly Dynasty with the main decorative motifs still being dragons, lotus flowers, chrysanthemums, and clouds. The difference is that the decorative patterns are simpler, not as meticulous and sophisticated as those of the Ly Dynasty. The most obvious is the change in the image of the Dragon, the symbol of kingship. Tran Dragon's body structure is stout and stronger; The trunk is shorter and fatter, and more scales appear, even in some small dragon versions; shorter and larger claws; Many new positions appear.

  While the fine arts of the Ly dynasty followed highly stylized, elaborate and meticulous lines, the fine arts of the Tran dynasty followed a more realistic, simple, general and robust way of creating shapes. Folklore has begun to take root. Images of animals feeding in the water (storks, cauldrons), in the sky (birds), in the forest (tiger and horse) and images of humans (wrestlers) have been sculpted on ceramics.

  During the Tran Dynasty, pagodas and towers were still the dominant architectural works with the remaining buildings. such as Pho Minh Pagoda (Nam Dinh), Boi Khe Pagoda (Ha Tay), Thai Lac Pagoda (Hung Yen), Binh Son Tower (Vinh Phuc).

At the end of 200 years of rule, the Ly Dynasty opened and laid the foundation for the trend of combining religious ideas into art.

For nearly 400 years of existence in the capital city of Thang Long, the Ly and Tran dynasties left a valuable foundation for the country's fine arts. It is also the philosophical confession of Buddhism from our ancestors intersecting with the voice of the nation's soul.

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