The Gandhara art flourished during the Kushana rule in India. Particularly Kanishka, the greatest of the Kushanas was a great patron of art and architecture. It was during his reign that Gandhara School of art flourished. The new Gandhara style of art that developed in sculpture was a fusion of Greco-Roman and Indian styles.
The characteristic features of the Gandhara School of art was
(1) The subject was Indian .
(2) The form of art was foreign.
The Gandhara sculptors made images of Lord Buddha in the Greco-Roman style. The images of Buddha resembled Greek God Apollo.
- Ajanta is famous for both of its architectural design as also the paintings on the cave-walls.
- Of the 29 caves in all 16 contained paintings which have survived.
- Though the Ajanta is as old as 1st century AD, most of the specimens belong to the Gupta Age.
- In the paintings decorative designs have been executed with masterly skill.
What are the main differences between Mathura School of Art and Gandhara School of Art?
Gandhara School of art -
- Theme is mainly Buddhist, depicting various stories from the life of Buddha.
- Also, more stress is given to the bodily features and external beaty.
- Sculptures were made initially on stone and later on Stucco, both grey in color.
- This school is influenced by Greeco-Roman techniques to a greater extent.
- One of the reason is definitely the geographical location of the school.
- Gandhara school was heavily influenced by Greek methodologies, the figures were more spiritual and sculpted mainly in grey, and great detail was paid to exact depiction of body parts.
Mathura school of art -
- Theme may vary from Buddhist to Brahmanical to sometimes secular.
- More stress is given to the inner beauty and facial emotions rather than bodily gesture.
- Sculptures were made on White-spotted red stones.
- These were not influenced by Greeco-Roman techniques to that extent.
- Several Brahmanical Dieties were first crystallized by this school.
- For the Mathura school, the material was red sandstone, and they were depicted as more human and less spiritual. It was wholly influenced by Indian sculptures.