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By Dietrich Seckel

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It 86 unquenchable desire here, too, that the Buddhist's religious themes found satisfaction for the first time. for visual representation of Not that the Buddha himself, of course, was as yet depicted: he appears only in a later phase of Buddhist doctrine (We with the creation and transformation of the Buddha image and art. e. it person and suggests his presence by symbols alone. This was quite consistent with the original doctrine, since it was thought impossible a state of being inconceivable in The reliefs in stone to represent him once he had passed human and Plate P- 76 into nirvana, this-worldly terras.

It would thus be wrong to draw conclusions as to the time when a Gandharan work was produced on the basis of differences in technique and style, and to deduce from this a consistent line of development — perhaps too consistent, and for this very reason incorrect. Very careful analysis is necessary in attempting to work out an accurate chronology of Gandharan art. This task is rendered particularly difficult by the fact that there are almost no works that are dated, or to which a definite date can be ascribed.

Thus we are by no means dealing with a case of Asiatic art forms becoming imbued with the Antique, but precisely the reverse: certain stimuli exerted by Antique art acted as catalysts or ferments, while they themselves became increasingly subject to Asian influences and blended with them; but these stimuli were not in them- selves the essential art. Gandharan elements that brought about this flowering of spiritual art was derivative and synthetic; and the fact that it life and could have the effect it did indicates that is possessed the power to set up valid models on which others could build.

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