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WATCHING FRESCOES


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Frescoes or wall paintings in Sri Lanka are said to date back to the time of Sri Lanka's first aboriginal inhabitants the Veddas. This tradition of offering an insight to the daily life style of Sri Lankan's by painting them on a wall has continued to present day. Mainly three categories of murals can be found in Sri Lanka. They are fragmentary paintings (Bithu Sithuwam) which include Female Figures in Sigiriya Palace, murals of Kandyan School before the British colonization and finally southern tradition of wall paintings which are influenced by Dutch and Portuguese invasion.

The Sigiriya frescoes are very famous with the portraying of beautiful maids which are assumed to be celestial beings, queens or ladies in waiting. They received priority restoration treatments from UNESCO; although sadly out of the 550 figures that were painted originally only 23 are remaining at present.

Other frescoes of Kandyan style can be viewed in preaching halls and Image halls inside temples such as Dalada Maligawa -the temple of tooth Relic, Degaldoruwa shrine, Gangarama shrine, Medavala shrine, Suriyagoda shrine, Lankatilaka shrine, Ridivihara shrine and Dambulla shrine.

As for southern style, Mulgirigala Rajamaha Vihara, Telwatta Purana Totagamu Rajamaha Vihara, Kataluva Purvarama Vihara, Dodanduva Sailabimbarama Vihara, Dodanduva Kumaramaha Vihara, Ambalangoda Sunandarama Vihara are a few of the temples that contain excellent examples of the paintings of the Southern influence.


 

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