Development of Mathura School of art in post-Mauryan age
Mathura School of Art
The Origin of Mathura art form is traced back to 2nd century BC. The influence on this art form was a mixed one. All the three main religion of this time i.e. Buddhism, Jainism and Brahmanism influenced this art form in one way or the other. This influence provided the subject matter and content to this school. The influence here is not only from Buddhism as we find in the case of Gandhara school.
In the initial stage, we find influence from Jainism and later on Brahmanism and Buddhism also influenced it. The Hellenistic or Greek influence on this style was absent to a great extent. The Mathura School of art was not only religious, but also secular, absent in the Gandhara School of Art. Various patterns of life were portrayed, e.g. we have scenes from forests, where men and woman are collecting flowers, women playing with cranes and offering fruits to birds, women playing in garden and water tanks etc.
Aristocratic elements to some extent were present in the Mathura art. This art form was also associated with the ruling groups and here we find the images of kings and prominent persons, associated with the ruling class. Status of rulers and many head of Scythian dignitaries have been found at mat village in Mathura.
These discoveries indicate that Mathura was the most important centre of the eastern part of the Kushana empire. The chief patron of this art form were Kushana and chief material was white spotted red sandstone. The main centre was Mathura and its adjoining areas, but it spread far and white.
Also Read Development of Art in Post Mauryan Age
Distinctive Features of Mathura School
- Images were grand and solid, the masculine beauty was discernible and body was firm.
- The eroticism is discernible in the images which was given beautiful expression through physical features.
- The images also show a religious influence. Spirituality was expressed in the images.
- The halo of its Buddha image has its foliated scroll, rosettes, geese design etc.
- We also find images of the Brahmanical God and Goddesses such as Shiva, Lakshmi, Surya, Brahma, Vishnu, Kubera etc.
- The earliest images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas are found in this school. The Buddha was portrayed as head and face shaven, right hand in Abhaya posture and tight dress. Image started getting fashioned in round so that they could be seen from every side.
- Varoius images of Jaina Tirthankura such as crossed legged naked Tirthankara like Rishabnatha, Parsvanath etc are associated with this school.
- The Kushana kings such as Kaniska and wima kadphieses were shown in central Asian attires. An important finding is the headless image of Kanishka from village mat in Mathura.
- This art form to extent influenced Amravati School of art.
- Mathura School was produced the beautiful images of yaksha and yakshini, produced beautiful female figures, which were very remarkable.