Acanthus Leaves in Gandhara Art: A Symbol or a Decorative Pattern

Authors

  • SYEDA MUNAZZA GILANI
  • KIRAN SHAHID SIDDIQUI

Abstract

Acanthus is one of the significant ancient motifs that has been widely used in the arts of almost all the major religions of the world including Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. The depiction of symbols and motifs were common in world arts to represent a specific theme or sometimes used merely as an ornamental motif. Acanthus leaves occupy a distinctive eminence in most of the world arts. In ancient Greek and Roman sculptural arts usually, they appear as a funerary symbol and are depicted on gravestones. Acanthus symbolizes life, immortality, and rebirth. They were also used as decorative motifs. Acanthus motif, specifically in Gandharan Art has not been discussed in detail. This paper aims to identify different styles of acanthus, its evaluation, and development over the years. It also analyzes the representation of acanthus in Gandhara art, through a critical and qualitative approach that classifies whether acanthus has been used as a symbol or merely an ornamental motif. Different panels of Gandhara Art specifically focussing on the acanthus motif is being discussed in this paper.

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Published

2021-03-07

How to Cite

SYEDA MUNAZZA GILANI, & KIRAN SHAHID SIDDIQUI. (2021). Acanthus Leaves in Gandhara Art: A Symbol or a Decorative Pattern. Quarterly Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, 68(3). Retrieved from http://phs.com.pk/index.php/phs/article/view/81

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Section

Articles