4:30pm at CWAC 156.
Title: “Framing Gandhāran Art: Space Construction in Narrative Reliefs”
The question of influence in the buddhist art of Gandhāra, a region comprising part of modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been the object of heated debate for decades: the quest for sources – of style, of imagery, of content – has been variously identified in Greece, Rome, Parthia, India. In an effort to both move away from and reassess the thorny issue of influence, this paper brings the physical and conceptual margin at the center, and focuses on framing devices. Specifically, it will investigate the employment of architectural elements at the boundaries and as the boundaries of devotional space in narrative reliefs that were once attached to stupas. It will be argued in favour of the necessity of a critical and systematic evaluation of the style and meaning of these framing devices within the cultural milieu of early Buddhist art in the north-western Indian regions.
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