Kanishka was a great patron of art. His important buildings and constructions of art are found mostly at Gandhara, Mathura, Kanishkapura and Takshashila. The Kushana period is important for the growth of Gandhara art or otherwise known as the Greeko-Buddhist style. With close contact between two civilizations – the Indian and the Greek, there arose a new school of art called – “the Gandhara School of art”. This school represented a blending of Indian and Greek art. It is called as Gandhara art because, this style originated in Gandhara region. This region is situated in the present Afghanistan.
Characteristics of the Gandhara School of Art
- In this school of art the life size statues of Gautama Buddha were carved. Until then, the Buddhist existence was shown in the form of symbols like lotus, umbrella etc.
- While carving the statues utmost care was given to the symmetry of the body including the muscles and moustaches which were shown in a natural setting.
- In the specimens of the craftsmanship of this art-the folds and turns of the clothes were exhibited with minute care and skill.
- In this art the ornaments that were carved on the statues received much attention which added to the physical beauty of the statue.
- Polishing the statues is an important feature of this art.
- The specimens were mostly prepared in stone, terracotta and clay.
- The technique used in making the statues was Greek but, the idea, inspiration and personality all were Indian.
Question for UPSC Mains
Compare the Gandhara Art with Mathura, Greek and Roman Styles of Arts.