World’s first oil paintings found in Afghan caves

Bamiyan is no ordinary location. This was the place where the giant Buddhas that stood for centuries with their message of peace were destroyed by the Taliban. And, now this startling revelation. There is tragedy laced with irony here.

Forget Renaissance Europe. The world’s first oil paintings go back nearly 14 centuries to murals in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan caves, a Japanese researcher says.

Buddhist images painted in the central Afghan region, dated to around 650 AD, are the earliest examples of oil used in art history, says Yoko Taniguchi, an expert at Japan’s National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. […]