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This article studies the intercultural links between the Uygurs and Dunhuang in the tenth-eleventh centuries. Some of the biggest caves at Dunhuang show large-scale representations of Ganzhou Uygur brides as donors. It is argued that the marriage of a Chinese ruler of Dunhuang with the daughter of the Ganzhou Uygur kaghan acted as a catalyst for the formation of a new Sino-Uygur ruling class. A sketch and a painting from Dunhuang are examined in detail. Emphasis is on the appearance of new colours and decorative technologies such as applied gold leaf, iconography including the clothing of the figures and style, including facial features and mannerisms. It is concluded that Ganzhou Uygur brides as patrons played an important role in the formation of tenth-century Dunhuang art, and Uygur influence continued to grow in the eleventh century.

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