• Osmund Bopearachchi

The Great Departure and the Twin Miracle: How Gandharan Buddhist Sculptors Showcased Key Episodes in the Life of the Buddha

Note: This event was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 23. We apologize for any inconvenience.

International authority on the art of Gandhara Osmund Bopearachchi presents a lecture about Buddhist imagery in Gandharan art. He focuses on two key episodes—the Great Departure, which depicts the Buddha’s rejection of his life of royal ease in search of the truth, and the Twin Miracles, which portrays the moment when the Buddha simultaneously produced fire and water from his body. Bopearachchi highlights significant cultural exchanges between the Hellenistic world of Greco-Roman art and the native artistic traditions of India, including how textural narratives that inspired these images created confusion in the minds of both the artists who executed them and the modern art historians who interpreted their symbolism.

Bopearachchi is Emeritus Director of Research at the French National Center for Scientific Research, former Adjunct Professor of Central and South Asian Art, Archaeology and Numismatics at UC Berkeley, and former visiting professor at the Paris-Sorbonne University.

 His lecture is the keynote address for the conference Gandharan Studies: A Comprehensive Survey, sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Tang Center for Silk Road Studies.