Just back from an inspiring lecture by Anna Filigenzi given this afternoon in Leiden, the Netherlands:
If you are in the opportunity to join this new lecture this tuesday in Heidelberg, GO !!
11. Dez 2012 18:30 Uhr bis 20:00 Uhr
Heidelberg, Karl Jaspers Centre, Room 212
In the rich repertoire of the Buddhist art of Gandhāra a special place is occupied by “Dyonisiac scenes” which portray different characters drinking, dancing, and performing more or less explicit erotic gestures that prelude to sexual intercourses. Such themes cannot be easily reconciled with our image of ancient Buddhism. They belong to the puzzling repertoire of “non-biographical scenes” which are not related to the narrative of the Buddha’s life although they are physically connected with such scenes in the decorative programme of Buddhist monuments. This association, so odd to our eyes, must have been significant to the society of the time but continues to elude satisfactory explanation. In such contexts, Hellenistic features in Gandhāran art cannot be considered a simple question of fashion or ‘influence’ but are rather to be seen as a a conscious adoption of models that, though maintaining some semantic tie with their sources, are transformed and integrated in a coherent artistic syntax, where they acquire new and specific meanings.
Anna Filigenzi is temporary researcher at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” and director of the FWF stand-alone research project “The cultural history of Uddiyana 4th to 8th century CE” at the Numismatic Commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She is the director of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan in 2004, and a member of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan since 1984.