Compare the image of the Buddha in the Gandhara art with that in the Mathura art.

In the Gandhara school Buddha portrayed had Hellenistic features whereas in the Mathura school the Buddha was modelled on earlier Yaksha images. The Gandhara School had also roman as well as Greek influences and assimilated Archimedean, Parthian and Bactrian. The Buddha has curly hair and there are linear strokes over the head. The forehead plane has protruding eyeballs, eyes are half closed and the face and cheeks are not round like the images found in other parts of India. The ears are elongated especially the earlobes.
Overall the image is very expressive and calmness remains the centre point of attraction in Gandhara style of Buddha. An example of Buddha in Gandhara style is the Buddha head at Taxila which is in the Gandhara region.
However, there are certain drawbacks of Gandhara school portrayal of the Buddha. The Buddha image of Gandhara school has been claimed to be an original contribution but its aesthetic quality is indifferent and it lacks the vigour and independence of expression that characterise the free standing Bodhisattvas of Mathura. The Indian elements derived from the ideal yogi type, namely the lotus seat and the meditative gaze could not be properly assimilated, and the schematic folded drapery, heavy ornamentation and very often the moustaches betray a taste lacking in refinement.
In the Mathura art, Buddha image have fleshy body and the shoulders are broad. The Sanghati (garment) covers only one shoulder. Buddha is accompanied by attendant figures like Padmapani and Valrapani Boddhisattvas. The Buddha image is accompanied by Halo around his head which is very large. With respect to the face of Buddha, it is round with fleshy cheeks.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Compare the image of the Buddha in the Gandhara art with that in the Mathura art.

Published: May 1, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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