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Home > Indian Sculptures > Buddhist Sculptures > Gandhara and Mathura
Gandhara and Mathura
Gandhara and MathuraUnder the reign of Kushans, India`s most important styles in sculpturing were developed. It is between the 2d and 5th cent A.D that the Gandhara art and art of Mathura came in existence as its separate identity. Among these, the Gandhara art mainly contains sculptures those present images of the Buddha from the earliest period. This art is named as above after the region of Gandhara, which is the place now in Pakistan.

Earlier than evolution of this art, the Buddha`s presence was primarily represented only through symbols such as the peepal tree, the wheel of life, footprints, and an empty throne.

It can be seen that the Gandhara style was tremendously influenced by Hellenistic art (originated in France) of second century and it was seen that it is highly influential in the countries from central and eastern Asia. Ivories and imported glass and lacquerware are seem to add in the cosmopolitan tastes of that time and extensive trade was also identified as the characteristic of this period. Most of artworks like stupas and monasteries were adorned with relief sculptures & often carved in dark schist. With these, figures shown in classical poses with flowing Hellenistic draperies were also found its presence here.

Gandhara and MathuraUnder the rule of same Kushans, only at different geographical area i.e.farther east and south at the contemporary Mathura, the Mathura style was developed. This place is known as it had created a wholly Indian sculptural art. The usual medium used for sculpturing was the reddish limestone. The sensuous image of Buddha whose limbs are created according to canonical instructions, as if smiles directly to the worshipers. Reliefs of the yakshis that are carved against the railing pillars are more sensual and erotic than those at Sanchi. So, for the summary, Buddhist iconography was evolved & widely used during the Gandhara period but that of Mathura has preserved and developed the art of Indian forms for three centuries.
Sanchi Stupa Bodhgaya Sarnath
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