Robert DeCaroli to Lecture on "The Art of Gandhara" at Smithsonian

Professor Robert DeCaroli will deliver a series of four lectures this February at the Smithsonian Institution. Titled "The Art of Gandhara: Where India Met Greece," the lectures will discuss how artists in Gandhara blended artistic influences in a meeting of cultures. The Smithsonian offers a description of the lectures:

Situated between India, Persia, and the Greco-Roman world, the region of greater Gandhara (stretching through parts of modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan) has produced artwork that blends influences and ideas from many cultures. Treasure hoards with bounty that includes glass from Rome, Central Asian jewelry, and South Asian ivory are a testament to the region’s central role in the long-distance exchange of goods. Images of the Buddha reflecting Greek sculptural styles testify to its equally important role in the exchange of cultural ideas.

Although the kingdoms of greater Gandhara reached their artistic peak in the first through fifth centuries, its legacy extends to the present. The era remains one of the most important periods in world art, and Gandharan artwork produced in these early centuries has drawn intense interest from collectors and museums.

Robert DeCaroli, a professor of art history at George Mason University, examines the origins of the region’s material culture, explores the ways imperial and religious power were displayed, and traces the role of trade in the exchange of ideas. 

The lectures will happen on February 9, February 16, March 2, and March 9. Details are available at the Smithsonian website.