Foto del docente

Nicoletta Celli

Associate Professor

Department of History and Cultures

Academic discipline: L-OR/20 East Asian Archaeology, Art History and Philosophy


Keywords: Representation of the Life of the Buddha Artistic relations between India, Central Asia and China Buddhist iconography and iconology Buddhist archaeology and art Art in China Art in the Indian Subcontinent

Origins of Buddhist art in China

The research explores the transmission of Buddhist art from India to China and its impact on Chinese culture, as part of the parallel and analogous historical and literary evidence concerning the spread of Buddhism from India to China. Its aim is to throw light upon the means by which this transmission occurred and the nature and characteristics of the earliest Buddhist art in China.


Buddhist art in medieval China and the representation of the life of the Buddha and of his previous lives

The analysis, performed on various levels, involves recording the material, identifying the scenes depicted in steles and wall paintings (observations on the problematic pre-iconographic reading of Chinese material), defining the representational key of narrative Buddhist art in China, classifying the themes portrayed, comparing Indian and Central Asian sources and analysing narrative techniques.


Art-historical research methodology concerning Chinese Buddhist art

The state of the art in research methods and the very latest theoretical models in the study of Chinese Buddhist art.

N. Celli, The Dawn of Buddhist Art in China: Preliminary Thoughts on a New Approach to Early Buddhist Images, in: Selected Papers 1 - Italian Association for Chinese Studies, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2016, pp. 51 - 74.

N. Celli, Importazioni e invenzioni nell’arte buddhista in Cina del V secolo. La grotta 169 di Binglingsi 炳靈寺, in: Arte dal Mediterraneo al Mar della Cina. Genesi ed incontri di scuole e stili, Palermo, Officina di Studi Medievali, 2015, pp. 387 - 404.

N. Celli, "A Question of Gestures: Reflections on the Earliest Buddha Images in China", J. S. Rošker and N. Vampelj Suhadolnik (eds), The Yields of Transition: Literature, Art and Philosophy in Early Medieval China , Newcaste upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011, pp. 101 – 133.

N. Celli, “ Foreign Art and Foreign Rulers. Considerations on Buddhist Narrative Art in Fifth-Century China”, G. Orofino e S. Vita (eds), Buddhist Asia 2. Papers from the Second Conference of Buddhist Studies, Kyoto, Italian School of East Asian Studies, 2010, pp. 253 – 302.

N. Celli, “ Messaggi su pietra: dalla stele funeraria alla stele votiva nella Cina medievale”, G. Boccali e M. Scarpari (a cura di), Scritture e codici nelle culture dell'Asia: Giappone, Cina, Tibet, India, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2006, pp. 137 – 159.

N. Celli, recensione a Marilyn, M. Rhie, Early Buddhist Art of Central Asia and China, Leiden, Brill, 1999, in Central Asiatic Journal, 46/1, 2002, pp. 152-158.

N. Celli, Buddhismo, Milano, Electa Mondadori, 2006, pp. 333.