You are on page 1of 3

Articles from General Knowledge Today

Gandhara School of Art

2012- 01- 09 13:01:47 GKToday

Cont ent s
Salient Feat ures
T he Various Mudras of Buddha in Gandhar Art
Major Cent res
Mat hura School of Art Vs. and Gandhara School of Art
T he Gandharan Buddha image was inspired by
Hellenistic realism, t empered by Persian, Scyt hian,
and Part hian models. Sculpt ors const ruct ed
Buddhist images wit h anatomical accuracy,
spatial depth, and f oreshortening. In t his art ,
Buddha's curls were alt ered int o wavy hair. T he
Buddha or Gandhar art is somet imes very t hin,
which is opposit e in Mat hura art . It looks like t he
Mat hura, Gandhara art s cross-f ert ilized in due
course of t ime, and t he bulky Mat hura Buddha
gradually gave way t o t he slender elegance of t he
Gandharan image. T he result of t his synt hesis
ennobled, ref ined, and purif ied t he Buddha image
t hat appeared in t he Gupt a period. T his Gupt a st yle
became t he model f or Sout heast Asian Buddha

Salient Features
Gandhara School was based on Greco-Roman
norms encapsulat ing f oreign t echniques and an
alien spirit . It is also known as Graeco-Buddhist
School of art.
T he f oreign inf luence is evident f rom t he sculpt ures
of Buddha in which t hey bear resemblance t o t he
Greek sculpt ures. Grey sandst one (Blue-grey Mica
schist t o be precise) is used in Gandhara School of
Art .
T he Bamyan Buddha of Af ghanist an were t he
example of t he Gandhara School. T he ot her
mat erials used were Mud, Lime, St ucco. However,

Marble was NOT used in Gandhara art . T erracot t a

was used rarely. Bimaran Casket has yielded t he earliest specimen of
t he Gandhara Art .
T he Various Mudras of Buddha in Gandhar Art
In all t he Buddha depict ed in t he Gandhara Art is shown making f our t ypes of
hand gest ures and t his is a remarkable f eat ure in t his art . T he gest ures are as
f ollows:
Abahayamudra : Don't f ear
Dhyanamudra : medit at ion
Dharmachakramudra: a preaching mudra
Bhumisparshamudra: T ouching t he eart h.
Major Centres
Jalalabad, Hadda, Bamaran, Begram & T axila were t he main cent ers where
art pieces of Gandhara School have been f ound. Bot h Shakas and Kushanas
were pat rons of Gandhara School. T he head of t he Buddha mat ched very
much wit h Greek God Apollo.

Mathura School of Art Vs. and Gandhara School of

Fact or

Mat hura School

Gandhara School

No f oreign Inf luence, however,

lat er it cross f ert ilized wit h t he St rong Greek inf luence.
Gandhara School.
Was based on Greco-Roman
norms encapsulat ing f oreign
It s development t ook place
t echniques and an alien spirit .
It is also known as GraecoBuddhist School of art .
Assimilat ing various t rait s of
Acamenian, Part hian and
Init ially inspired by Yaksha
Bact rian t radit ions int o t he
local t radit ion is a hallmark of
t he Gandhara st yle
Init ially inspired by Hellenist ic
f eat ures.
Blue-grey Mica schist / Grey
Mat erial Used Spot t ed Red Sandst one
Sandst one
Early period: Light volume
Finer det ails and realist ic
Feat ures
having f leshy body

Lat er Period: Flashiness

Not much at t ent ion t o
det ailed sculpt ing. Buddha is
st out


Buddha carved out in various

Curley hair, anat omical
accuracy, spat ial dept h, and
f oreshort ening
Buddha is somet imes t hin

T he halo around t he head of

Buddha was prof usely
decorat ed.

Not decorat ed, generally.

Images are less expressive

T he images are very


Amaravati School of art

T he t hird t ype of sculpt ure art t hat Flourished during t he Kushana t ime was
Amaravat i School of art in t he Andhra Pradesh. Whit e Marble was used in t his
art and t he t hemes were Buddhas lif e and Jat akas t ales. T he curly hairs of
Buddha is a f eat ure t hat is inf luenced by t he Greeks. In t his school, t he Kings,
Princes, Palaces et c. have got prominence.