Buddhist sculptures from Swat

Turin, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, April – May 1963


The purpose of the exhibition, inaugurated in April 1963, was to present material coming from the excavations in the sacred area of Mingora - Butkara, in the Swat region, at the North-West limits of Pakistan. This material was donated by the then Centro Scavi dell’ISMEO e di Torino to the Civic Museums at Turin and entered the collection of the Turin Museum as the share of the partition of the findings. The exhibits were mainly reliefs deriving from architectural contexts (cornices, pillars, capitals, antefixes), which decorated the stupas, the characteristic Buddhist religious monuments: the sculptures, in fact, recall with their subjects the legends of the life of Buddha. Their style indicates that they belong to the so-called Gandharan art, a name deriving from one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid empire. This art embodies diverse sculptural works, combining elements of Persian art with influences from India and a significant Hellenistic influence.

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