Post Mauryan Architecture; Sculpture making art reached its climax during this period.
- Now 2 kinds of caves originated.
- 1.Chaitya – (Prayer hall of monks) Ex:- Karla Chaitya in Maharastra.
- 2.Vihara – (Residence or Rest place of monks) Ex:- Nachik Vihar & Ajanta Caves (29 caves; 25 viharas & 4 chaityas)
- Now, more enlarged stupas were built.
- A lower pradakshinapatha or circumbulatory path was added along with the upper one at Stupa.
- All the 4 gateways were now carved with beautiful sculptures.
- Symbols continued to be used representing the Buddha
Sculpture (100 CE)
- In this age 3 schools were developed i.e Gandhara (now in Pakistan), Mathura in India & Amaravathi in Andhra Pradesh
- Buddha in the symbolic form got a human form in Mathura and Gandhara.
Gandhara school of art (50 B.C. TO 500 A.D.)
- Region extending from Punjab to the borders of Afghanistan was an important centre of Mahayana Buddhism up to the 5th century A.D.
- Absorbed all kinds of foreign influences like Persian, Greek, Roman, Saka & Kushan.
- Origin can be traced to the Greek rulers of Bactria & Northwest India.
- During the reign of Kanishka that the art received great patronage.
- Also known as the Graeco – Buddhist School of Art since Greek techniques of Art were applied to Buddhist subjects.
- Most important contribution- evolution of beautiful images of the Buddha and Bodhisattavas, which were executed in black stone and modeled on identical characters of Greece-Roman pantheon.
- “Gandhara artist had the hand of a Greek but the heart of an Indian.”
- Most characteristic trait – depiction of Lord Buddha in the standing or seated positions.
- Seated Buddha is always shown cross-legged in the traditional Indian way.
- Typical feature – rich carving, elaborate ornamentation and complex symbolism.
- Tallest rock cut statue of Lord Buddha – Bamiyan (Afghanistan) 3 – 4 century AD.
Making 4 types of hand gestures (mudras) & this is a remarkable feature in this art.
- Abhayamudra : Don’t fear
- Dhyanamudra : meditation
- Dharmachakramudra: a preaching mudra
- Bhumisparshamudra: Touching the earth
Mathura school of art ( 50 B.C. – 500 A.D.)
- Holy city of Mathura between 1-3 A.D.
- Established tradition of transforming Buddhist symbols into human form.
- Buddha’s first image can be traced to Kanishka’s reign (about 78 A.D.).
- Earliest sculptures of Buddha were made keeping the yaksha prototype in mind.
- Strongly built – right hand raised in protection & left hand on the waist.
- Figures do not have moustaches & beards as in the Gandhara Art.
- Seated figures are in the padmasana posture.
- Not only produced beautiful images of the Buddha but also of the Jain Tirthankaras & gods & goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.
- Purely indigenous in nature, reaching its zenith under the Kushanas, mainly Kanishka
- Guptas adopted, further improvised & perfected Mathura School of Art.
- Observed at – Sarnath, Sravasti & even as far as Rajgir in Bihar.
- Buddha shown seated in Padmasana, Right hand in AbhayMudra (Indicate reassurance) raised above shoulder, Left hand on left thigh (reflect muscularity), Protuberance on head.
- Famous for headless statue of Kanishka
- Material used was red sandstone mainly with a little use of terracotta.
- On the banks of the Krishna River in modern Andhra Pradesh.
- Main patrons – Satavahanas & Ikshvakus.
- White Marble (limestone) was used in this art
- Site of largest Buddhist stupa of South India.
- Theme: Buddha’s life & Jatakas tales.
- Curly hairs of Buddha; A feature that is influenced by the Greeks.
- Sculptural composition is more complex and characterized by intense emotions, bodies are shown with three bents (i.e. tribhanga). Its ruins are preserved in the London Museum.