The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Eventually, it was realized that this process could be considerably speeded up if an image was carved on a block of wood, covered with ink and then pressed on the surface to be painted so as to leave an outline of the Buddha which the artist then only had to fill in with colour.
The earliest known printed book is a copy of a sutta printed in China in 868 CE. By the 11th century, Buddhist monks in Korea had invented movable type. Printing was not invented in Europe until 1454.