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art and architecture
5 years ago
by ~tn~ Member since: April 04, 2006 Total points: 4,942 (Level 4)
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Gandhara is noted for the distinctive Gandh ra style of Buddhist art, a consequence of merger of Greek, Syrian, Persian and Indian art traditions. The development of this form of art started in Parthian Period(50BC ± 75AD). Gandh ran style flourished and achieved its peak during the Kushan period from 1st Century to 5th Century. It declined and suffered destruction after invasion of the White Huns in the 5th century.Style of Buddhist visual art that developed in what is now northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghani tan between the 1st s century BC and the 7th century AD. The style, of Greco-Roman origin, seems to have flourished largely during the Kushan dynasty and was contemporaneous with an important but dissimilar school of Kushan art at Mathura (Uttar Pradesh, India).The Gandhara region had long been a crossroads of cultural influences. During the reign of the Indian emperor Ashoka around 3rd century B.C., the region became the scene of intensive Buddhist missionary activity; and, in the 1st century AD, rulers of the Kushan empire, which included Gandhara, maintained contacts with Rome. In its interpretation of Buddhist legends, the Gandhara school incorporated many motifs and techniques from classical Roman art, including vine scrolls, cherubs bearing garlands, tritons, and centaurs. The basic iconography, however, remained Indian.The materials used for Gandhara sculpture were green phyllite and gray-blue mica schist, which, in general, belong to an earlier phase, and stucco, which was used increasingly after the 3rd century A.D. The sculptures were originally painted and gilded.Gandhara's role in the evolution of the Buddha image has been a point of considerable disagreement among scholars. It now seems clear that the schools of Gandhara and Mathura each independently evolved its own characteristic depiction of the Buddha about the 1st century AD. The Gandhara school drew upon the anthropomorphic traditions of Roman religion and represented the Buddha with a youthful Apollo -like face, dressed in garments resembling those seen on Roman imperial statues. The Gandhara depiction of the seated Buddha was less successful. The schools of Gandhara and Mathura influenced each other, and the general trend was away from a naturalistic conception and toward a more idealized,
however. Gandhara art is often referred to as the Graeco-or-RomanBuddhist school. However. he reported that the country had been overrun by the Huns. The Gandharan craftsmen made a lasting contribution to Buddhist art in their composition of the events of the Buddha's life into set scenes. art and architecture from the Gandharean School had been found as far north as the Oxus River found in the Punjab.abst act i age. and his great artistic development. The province Gandhara included roughl northwestern India between the Khyber Pass and the Indus River and the region of the Kabul Valley in Afghanistan. a tribe of Scythian stock from north China made themselves masters of Gandhara.. and on the tumbled columns of Ay Khanum's administrative center. was interrupted by the invasion of the Persian King Shapur I in AD 242. Unfortunately. Rejoined to India under the Maurya Dynasty. was limited to a small region in ancient India. which in classical times. However. it was the introduction of foreign . other artifacts and some monasteries. Gandhara is the name of an ancient province and kingdom.. Evidence of Hellenistic art in the form of architecture had been noted on a number of temples from the city of Sirkap at Taxila. (picture). Many artifacts. The founder of the School has been credited to the Kushan Emperor Kanishka (c.The disastrous invasion of the White Huns put an end to all further productive activity in the once flourishing Gandhara province. there are no architectural monuments left intact in Gandhara only some structural remains and sculptured fragments. because of his patronage to Buddhism. Excavations have produced many statues. a term now used to describe the school of semi classical sculptures of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the earl centuries of our era. Little is known about this time period except from Chinese pilgrims who as early as the fifth century AD undertook the long and arduous journey to the Holy Land of Buddhism.. the Hephthalites. in the sixth century. He made Buddhism the state religion. The many archaeological discoveries of Alexandrian and Syrian workmanship at Taxila in the Punjab and Begram in the Kabul valley testify to the cultural and diplomatic connections with the Graeco-Roman West. The character of Gandharan art is determined by the commercial relations between the Kushan and the Roman empires. A few years later he reported that the Huns had virtually expiated Buddhism. In the sixth to fourth centuries BCE Gandhara was dominated under the Achaemenid Dynasty of Iran. AD 129-160). A century later." When his successor.. as early as the second century BCE these Greek Dynasties were already overrun by peoples of both nomadic and Parthian-Iranian origin. and the Buddhist civili ation of Gandhara was finally completely destroyed by the White Huns. who traveled through the Peshawar Valley shortly after AD 400 described that the Gandhara province flourished. The successors of Alexander the Great maintained themselves in Bactria and Gandhara from 322 BCE to about 0 BCE. visited the region in 20. However." that ruined monasteries greeted him everywhere in the Peshawar Valley and reports of the terrible desolation of the once flourishing Buddhist centers.. In the first century AD the Kushans. the Gandhara province became the object of intense missionary activity by the Buddhist emperor Asoka (reigned c.The Hellenistic influence was nowhere more dramatic than in Gandhara. Their rule. have survived and are now dispersed in major museums throughout the world. had destroyed monasteries and had slashed most of the population in Gandhara. when the famous Chinese pilgrim Hsuan-Tsang traveled through north-west India he found Gandhara in a ruined. Although the presence of this material provides a Hellenistic back ground for Gandhara art. in particular sculptures.. Sung Yen. enforced the Buddhist doctrine of nonviolence (ahimsa) and prohibited animal sacrifices. however. and that Emperor Kanishka's successors "were well cared for. depopulated state. 273-232 BCE . there is ample proof of active trade and cultural exchanges between the Mediterranean and the Kushan territories into China. He describes in his "Records of the Western Countries. the final chapters of the Gandharan school has its setting in Kashmir and in remote centers such as Fondukistan and Afghanistan where artistic activity continued as late as the seventh century. Fa Hsien.
The most frequent subjects were representations of Buddha. The detection of Greek and Roman elements in the Gandharan School testifies to the active . and beautifully cut lips with a subtle smile. with almond-shaped and slightly protruding eyes. but sometimes a mustache strikes a foreign note. Tall single statues were placed in chapels to be venerated by the monks and the faithful. The most frequently used material by Gandharan artists was a soft indigenous schist that varied in color from light to dark gray. The face if often unbearded. The majority of Gandharan art was. and often contained sparkling mica particles. while most motifs were of western Asiatic or Hellenistic origin. jewelry. created by native craftsmen following the successive waves of foreign influences. a representation of Prince Siddhartha. Sculptures played a very decisive role in the Buddhist monasteries where they had been found in large quantities. Stucco sculptures were given a final coat of gesso. Perhaps the school intended to create a human Bodhisattva. All early Bodhisattvas are shown in wearing turbans. most likely Kushan. and muslin skirts. or. with gentle arching eyebrows. rich jewelry the Buddha wore. regular features. and attending monks or donors. The fantastic monsters. Bodhisattwas. Because of the fragility of the material most statues were supported by attaching them to walls. rather than shown as a symbol. The Kushans were able to establish a strong empire for a period of about three hundred years and produced works of art reflecting both indigenous traditions and external influences. A definite borrowing from Roman art was the method of representing the story of the Buddhas legend in a series of separate episodes and panels. is usually seen in the form of the "chignon" a knot or a roll of hear wrapped in silk on the dome of Buddha's head. The subject matter of Gandharan art was unquestionably Buddhist. The Buddha images display a variety of ethnic types and expressions. a nomadic people without a tradition of monumental art. which was then painted. and the semi-human creatures as the centaur and triton are part of the repertory of Hellenistic art and introduced by Roman Eurasian artists in the service of the Kushan court. and bass relief filled all manners of places and positions. based on the Roman methods. garland-bearing Eros. a straight nose. the portrayal of Sakyamuni in his human shape. became an easy-towork material terracotta and stucco. This was accomplished in much the same way than the pictorial iconography of the Christian legends. forms such as the Atlantis. The most popular media. It is not surprising that the Kushans. requested the service of skilled artisans to meet the architectural and sculptural requirements for the many Buddhist establishments. It can be assumed that the practice of importing foreign artisans continued from the days of Kanishka's reign until the end of Buddhism in northwest India and the Punjab in the sixth to early seventh centuries. The human head usually has appears with a perfect oval face. Many of these statues were covered with gold leaf to give them a luster in dark interiors. The "usnisa" or cranial bump. On portraying the careers of the Caesar's several distinct climactic events where shown on separate panels. a costume that was an adaptation of the actual dress of Kushan and Indian nobles. created by Western artisans. the sphinxes and griffins had already been assimilated by the ancient Indian schools. giving them the appearance of a three-dimensional relief. Other large figures in high relief were placed with their back to the wall. the Buddha Sakyamuni while still as a Bodhisattva. The jewelry of these royal statues were a duplication of Hellenistic and Samatian gold. where Sakyamuni is portrayed with the head of a Greek Apollo and arrayed in a Roman toga.workers from the eastern centers of the Roman Empire that led to the creation of the first Buddhist sculptures. Mesopotamian motifs can be found on Persepolitan capitals. The elongated ears indicate the heavy. The Buddha's influence is evident in the half-closed eyes suggesting meditation. a redestination the Buddha was born with. The Gandhara schools is probably credited with the first representation of the Buddha in human form. Another example are the earliest Gandhara Buddha's. however. however. however. It is the same early representation of Christ which shows Him with the head of the Greek Sun-God but dressed in the garb of the teachers of the ancient Greek world.
y 5 years ago . and continued until the seventh century in Afghanistan. The Gandharan School deserves our admiration for their unique contribution that extended far beyond the perimeters of their province. The Gandhara School reached its peak toward the end of the second century with the production of the most significant large Buddha statues.exchange of ideals among all the civili ations of the Classical and Central Asian worlds. Their style continued to flourish into the third century until after the Sasanian invasion.
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