Sculpture piece from Jamal-Garhi: the so-called 'Gigantomachia'.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, of a sculpture piece from Jamal-Garhi. This piece represents the 'Gigantomachia', the primordial battle between gods that shaped earth. The two deities are depicted fighting for the right to mould the earth in their shape. This ontological concept emerged in classical Greece, particularly through the work of Plato and appears to have been incorporated into Buddhist iconography at Jamal-Garhi.
Jamal-Garhi was a Buddhist monastery located in the Peshawar district of northern Pakistan. From the first until the fifth century AD, Buddhism flourished in the Peshawar district which was known as Gandhara at that time. The city of Peshawar was the winter capital of a large empire and the monasteries in the area around the city attracted Buddhists from all over South Asia. The district was also home to a large number of skilled craftsmen who produced high quality sculptures in what can be broadly termed a Gandharan style. This style developed in the region of Peshawar from the first century onwards and bears affinities with Graeco-Roman sculpture. In this photograph the draped clothes and naturalistic modelling of the figure's bodies betray this influence.