(Last Updated on : 14/06/2017)
Gandhara School of Art had developed in first century AD together with Mathura School
in the sovereignty of Kushana
. Both Shakas and Kushanas were patrons of Gandhara School, which is recognized for the first sculptural demonstrations of the Buddha
in human form. The art of the Gandhara School was chiefly Mahayana
and shows Greco-Roman pressure.
The Gandhara School of Art is also recognized as the Greco-Buddhist School of Art
because Greek techniques of Art were applied to Buddhist
subjects. The most significant gift of the Gandhara School of Art was the development of stunning images of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas
, which were performed in black stone and modelled on equal characters of Greco-Roman pantheon. The most attribute quality of Gandhara sculpture
is the representation of Lord Buddha in the standing or seated positions.
History of Gandhara School of Art and Sculpture
The sources of Greco-Buddhist art are to be found in the Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian kingdom (250 BC- 130 BC), situated in Afghanistan from which Hellenistic culture spread out into the Indian subcontinent with the institution of the Indo-Greek kingdom (180 BC-10 BC).
Under the Indo-Greeks and the Kushanas, the interaction of Greek and Buddhist culture flourished in the area of Gandhara
, in todays northern Pakistan, before spreading further into India, influencing the art of Mathura
, and then the Hindu art
of the Gupta Empire
, which was to extend to the rest of South-East Asia.
Gandhara constituted the undulating plains, irrigated by the Kabul River from the Khyber Pass area, the contemporary boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan, down to the Indus River
and southward towards the Murree hills and Taxila
(ancient Taksasila); near Pakistan's present capital, Islamabad.
Materials of Gandhara School of Art and Sculpture
Gandhara School of Art & Sculpture used Grey sandstone. The other materials used were Mud, Lime
and Stucco. On the other hand, Marble
was not used in Gandhara art. Stucco offered the artist
with a standard of immense gracefulness, enabling a high degree of fluency to be given to the sculpture
Mudras of Buddha in Gandhara Art and Sculpture
Gandhara Art and Sculpture has revealed making four types of hand signs and this is a remarkable feature in this art. The gestures are - Abhayamudra
Features of Gandhara School of Art and Sculpture
The Gandhara region had long been a crossroads of cultural influences. The materials used for Gandhara sculpture were green phyllite and gray-blue mica
schist. Gandhara school of Art was greatly influenced by Greek methodologies, the figures were more religious and sculpted chiefly in grey and great feature was paid to precise depiction of body parts. The Gandharan Buddha image was motivated by Hellenistic realism, tempered by Persian
, Scythian and Parthian models.
The theme of Gandhara School of Art and Sculpture is chiefly Buddhist, depicting a variety of stories from the life of Buddha. Sculptors
constructed Buddhist images with anatomical correctness, spatial depth, and foreshortening. The Buddha of Gandhara art is very thin, which is contrary to Mathura art. The images of Buddha looked like Greek God Apollo. Gandhara School of Art and Sculpture gave more stress to the bodily features and external beauty. The varied characters of the Mathura School, a direct maintenance of the old Indian art of Bharut and Sanchi and the classical influence derived from Gandhara. It had influenced the Amaravati Art