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When West Met East Gandharan Art Revisited (In 2 Volumes)

Osmund Bopearachchi (Author)

When West Met East: Gandhāran Art Revisited is based on hitherto unpublished or partly published sculptures and artefacts from Gandhāra and Greater Gandhāra dispersed in public and private collections across Asia, Europe, and the United States. Its subject is a form of figurative sculpture that emerged in the Gandhāran region between the second and fifth centuries ce and reflects regional cross-cultural elements arising from its direct relationship with Buddhism and to some extent Hinduism, as both flourished in India at the time of the Ku]sā]n Empire. The author’s ‘Introduction’ presents the historical foundation of the innovative artistic expressions that characterize the singularity of Gandhāran art. The first chapter covers the cross-fertilized nature of the art and examines how Western artistic inspirations were transformed into new forms of art to narrate stories of Indian origin. The second chapter argues that Gandhāran artists followed the chronological sequence established in the Sanskrit Lalitavistara, or pre-existing texts which may have inspired this sacred book, when depicting the scenes of the life of the Blessed One starting with the descent of the future Buddha from Tu]sita Heaven up to the first sermon in the deer park. Singling out one particular episode in the Buddha’s life, the descent from the Trāyastri`mśa Heaven to Sā`mkāśya, the third chapter focuses on the literary sources that inspired Gandhāran artists. The fourth chapter addresses the question of the first depictions of the Bodhisattvas Maitreya and Avalokiteśvara in Gandhāran art. And, finally, the fifth chapter looks at the symbolism behind the presence of Hindu gods in Gandhāran art. About the Author Osmund Bopearachchi is adjunct Professor of Central and South Asian Art, Archaeology, and Numismatics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Emeritus Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (C.N.R.S.-E.N.S. Paris)

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About the author
In the spotlight

Osmund Bopearachchi

Osmund Bopearachchi is a numismatist, historian and archaeologist. He has authored twelve books, edited six books and published 162 research articles in reputed international journals. He has read 91 papers at international colloquia; presented 275 conferences in 80 cities, and has carried out 120 archaeological missions in 24 different countries.  Going beyond the traditional approach of simply cataloguing coins, he has made an attempt to link numismatics with sculptural and pictorial iconography. These attempts made him more and more interested in diverse art forms in ancient India. The exhibition catalogues that he has edited and co-authored, the international colloquia that he has organised and published and the numerous research articles that he has written are the outcome of his deep-seated interest in Central Asian and South Asian archaeology, art and architecture.  Prof. Bopearachchi holds a B.A. from the University of Kelaniya (Sri Lanka), and B.A. honors, (M.A.), M.Phil., Ph.D. all with first class passes from the Paris I-Sorbonne University, and a Higher Doctorate (Habilitation) from the Paris IV-Sorbonne University.  Prof. Bopearachchi currently serves as the director of the Sri Lanka-French Archaeological Mission, and also has launched a joint project with the Department of Near-Eastern Studies of the University of California at Berkeley focusing on Sri Lanka’s role in ancient maritime trade in the Indian Ocean.  He recently published a book on Gandhāran art entitled: “When West Met East: Gandhāran Art Revisted (Manohar, Delhi, 2020) based on a selection of hitherto unknown masterpieces from Gandhāra and Greater Gandhāra dispersed in museums and private collections in Japan, Europe, Canada and United States of America. At present he is working on a new catalogue of Graeco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek Coins.

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Bibliographic information

Title When West Met East Gandharan Art Revisited (In 2 Volumes)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 17.07.2020
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788194496243
length xii+454p., Illustrations (Black and White, and Colour), Maps (Black and White, and Colour); 29cm.