King Udayana presents the image of the Buddha to him. Sahri Bahlol, Pakistan; 4th–5th cent. CE; 30x43 cm. Peshawar Museum
The Buddhist artistic heritage of ancient Gandhara in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent is a particularly rich and important one. The artists of Gandhara drew on the artistic traditions of the Indian, Mediterranean, and Iranian worlds to create unique responses to their Buddhist faith. This lecture will explore the ways in which Gandharan artists, apart from generating some of the first iconic images of the Buddha, expressed their faith and that of their patrons through the depiction of events in the Buddha’s life. The possible function of this narrative art and its link with Buddhist literature will also be discussed.
Mark Allon is Associate Professor of South Asian Buddhist Studies in the Discipline of Asian Studies at the University of Sydney. His first degree was in fine art, majoring in sculpture, drawing and printmaking at Alexander Mackie College. He then completed a BA Honours (Asian Studies) at the Australian National University and a PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Cambridge. Since 2006 he has taught the ancient languages of India (Sanskrit, Pali and Gandhari), and Buddhist and Indian studies at the University of Sydney. His current research projects concern the study and publication of the recently discovered Gandhari Buddhist manuscripts from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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