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Art of Devotion from Gandhara
Ca. 2nd-3rd century
Gift of Mr. Eric Neff
The region of northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan was known in ancient times as Gandhara. From about the first through fifth centuries C.E., under the ruling Kushan dynasty, the art of this area emphasized depictions of the Buddha, legendary episodes of his life, and symbolism of the doctrines that he preached. The exhibition featured religious stone carvings from large architectural monuments called stupas that served as instructional aids and as a focus of devotion for pilgrims. Bronze vessels, coins, terracotta sealings, stone caskets, and gold jewelry added a component of broader Gandharan cultural life. The exhibition coincided with an international symposium at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, entitled On the Cusp of an Era: Art in the Pre-Kushan World.
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