This second volume of the Gandhāra Connections project at Oxford University’s Classical Art Research Centre aims to pick apart the regional geography of Gandhāran art, presenting new discoveries at particular sites, textual evidence, and the challenges and opportunities of exploring Gandhāra’s artistic geography.
Gandhāran art is usually regarded as a single phenomenon – a unified regional artistic tradition or ‘school’. Indeed it has distinctive visual characteristics, materials, and functions, and is characterized by its extensive borrowings from the Graeco-Roman world. Yet this tradition is also highly varied. Even the superficial homogeneity of Gandhāran sculpture, which constitutes the bulk of documented artistic material from this region in the early centuries AD, belies a considerable range of styles, technical approaches, iconographic choices, and levels of artistic skill. The geographical variations in Gandhāran art have received less attention than they deserve. Many surviving Gandhāran artefacts are unprovenanced and the difficulty of tracing substantial assemblages of sculpture to particular sites has obscured the fine-grained picture of its artistic geography. Well documented modern excavations at particular sites and areas, such as the projects of the Italian Archaeological Mission in the Swat Valley, have demonstrated the value of looking at sculptures in context and considering distinctive aspects of their production, use, and reuse within a specific locality. However, insights of this kind have been harder to gain for other areas, including the Gandhāran heartland of the Peshawar basin. Even where large collections of artworks can be related to individual sites, the exercise of comparing material within and between these places is still at an early stage. The relationship between the Gandhāran artists or ‘workshops’, particular stone sources, and specific sites is still unclear. Addressing these and other questions, this second volume of the Gandhāra Connections project at Oxford University’s Classical Art Research Centre presents the proceedings of a workshop held in March 2018. Its aim is to pick apart the regional geography of Gandhāran art, presenting new discoveries at particular sites, textual evidence, and the challenges and opportunities of exploring Gandhāra’s artistic geography.
Editors’ note ;
Preface – by Wannaporn Rienjang and Peter Stewart ;
Part 1 Artistic Geographies ;
Gandhāran art(s): Methodologies and preliminary results of a stylistic analysis – by Jessie Pons ;
Geographical differences and similarities in Gandhāran sculptures – by Satoshi Naiki ;
Part 2 Provenances and Localities ;
Sources of acquisition for the Gandhāran Buddhist sculptures in the former S.R.O. collection of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan, in the light of ar¬chival documents – by Zarawar Khan ;
Fresh discoveries at the Buddhist Monastic Complex Bādalpur, Taxila valley – by Muhammad Ashraf Khan ;
Fresh research on the Buddhist monastic complex of Takht-i-Bāhī – by M.H. Khan Khattak ;
The scope of the Buddhist 'workshops' and artistic 'centres’ in the Swat Valley, ancient Uḍḍiyāna, in Pakistan – by Abdul Ghafoor Lone ;
Regional workshops and small stūpas in the Swat Valley: an analysis of the evidence from Gumbat, Saidu Sharif, and Pānṛ – by Pia Brancaccio and Luca Maria Olivieri ;
Differences and similarities in Gandhāran art production: the case of the modelling school of Haḍḍa (Afghanistan) – by Alexandra Vanleene ;
Part 3 Geography and Text ;
A survey of place-names in Gāndhārī inscriptions and a new oil lamp from Malakand – by Stefan Baums ;
Making places for Buddhism in Gandhāra: stories of previous births in image and text – by Jason Neelis
About the Author
Wannaporn Rienjang is Lecturer in Archaeology, Museum and Heritage Studies at the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Thammasat University and a project consultant for the Gandhara Connections project at the Classical Art Research Centre, Oxford. She completed her doctoral degree in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge in 2017, and has been involved in research projects focusing on the art and archaeology of Greater Gandhara, Indian Ocean Trade and ancient working technologies of stone beads and vessels. ;
Peter Stewart is Director of the Classical Art Research Centre and Professor of Ancient Art at the University of Oxford. He has worked widely in the fields of Graeco-Roman sculpture and ancient world art. His publications include Statues in Roman Society: Representation and Response (2003), The Social History of Roman Art (2008), and A Catalogue of the Sculpture Collection at Wilton House (2020).