Buddhist Stories Carved in Stone. On the Techniques of Narrative Representation in Ancient India

Lecture by Professor Dr Monika Zin (Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, Germany), organized by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and IIAS

The lecture

The lecture aims to present the most specific characteristics of narrative representations in ancient India with special reference to the art of the kingdom of the Sātavāhanas, a dynasty which ruled in central and southern India between the 1st c. BCE and the 3rd c. CE. It will include examples from the reliefs of the recently discovered and relatively little-known stūpa in Kanaganahalli (Karnataka), which are of enormous importance for our knowledge of ancient India and early Buddhism.

The speaker

Professor Monika Zin studied Art History, Indology and Dramatics in Krakau and Munich. She finished her dissertation on the Plays from Trivandrum in the History of Development of the Udayana Narrative in 1991 and her habilitation on the topic of Ajanta paintings in 2000. Between 1994 and 2016 she taught Indian art history and Indology at the Institute for Indology in Munich. Among her research contributions are monographs dealing with Ajanta and with Buddhist tales and representations (Ajanta Handbook of the Paintings, 2: Devotional and Ornamental Paintings, 2003; Compassion and Miracles. Difficult conversions and their icono­graphy in Indian Buddhism, 2006; Samsaracakra, The Wheel of Rebirth in the Indian Tradition (with Dieter Schlingloff), 2007 – all written in German; an English edition of the Ajanta Handbook by the IGNCA is currently under preparation at the IGNCA). She published numerous articles in international journals on the identification of narrative art and on Indian drama. Her current publication project is The Kanaganahalli Stupa: An Analysis of the 60 Massive Slabs Covering the Dome (to appear in Delhi 2016). Since April 2016 Prof. Zin leads the team of the Research Centre “Buddhist Murals of Kucha on the Northern Silk Road” at the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig.

The programme

14.30 - 15.00  Reception with coffee & tea in the foyer of the Auditorium
15.00 - 15.10  Welcome & Introduction
15.10 - 16.00  Lecture by Professor Dr Monika Zin (Saxon Academy of Sciences, Leipzig, Germany)
16.00 - 16.30  Q&A


Attendance is free of charge. Please register in advance via: h.m.van.der.minne@iias.nl