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THE ART OF GANDHARA: A LECTURE

ASIA SOCIETY TEXAS CENTER , Houston
(asiasociety.org/centers/texas)

THE ART OF GANDHARA: A LECTURE

Thursday June 9, 2011 at 6:30PM, Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, lecture by Dr. Pia Brancaccio, Associate Professor of Art History, Drexel University.

The few of us who have seen the Bamyan Buddha statues prior to Taliban destruction in 2001, will forever be in awe of these gigantic statues in once peaceful Bamyan Valley. One of the major schools that developed the visual style of the art of Buddhism, Gandharan art was centered in a region of cultural crossroads, in what is now eastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. Between the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. and the Islamic conquests in the seventh century A.D., and under the auspices of the great missionary centers under emperor Ashoka during the third century B.C., Gandharan art developed of Graeco-Roman origin, influenced by Central Asian and Iranian styles, and contemporaneous with the different style of the Kushan school. Under the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom the first human representation of Buddha developed as an amalgam of eastern and western cultural traditions, later influencing the art of Mathura, Gupta, then
extending to Southeast Asia, and via the Silk Road ultimately reaching China, Korea and Japan.

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