Mathura School of Sculpture

  • Spotted sandstone was the preferred medium for depiction of sculptures
  • There was outside influence of the traditions of Mathura school of sculptures
  • All 3 religions – Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism were depicted in Mathura style
  • This school was patronized by Kushana rulers
  • The local sculptural tradition at Mathura became so strong that the tradition spread to other parts of northern India

Salient features of this school of sculpture:

  • The Buddha image at Mathura is modeled on the lines of earlier Yaksha images whereas in Gandhara it has Hellenistic features.
  • It may be noted that the images of Vishnu and Shiva are represented by their ayudhas (weapons).
  • There is boldness in carving the large images, the volume of the images is projected out of the picture plane, the faces are round and smiling, heaviness in the sculptural volume is reduced to relaxed flesh.
  • The garments of the body are clearly visible and they cover the left shoulder.
  • Images of the Buddha, Yakshas, Yakshinis, Shaivite and Vaishnavite deities and portrait statues are profusely sculpted.
  • In the second century CE, images in Mathura get sensual, rotundity increases, they become fleshier.
  • In the third century CE, treatment of sculptural volume changes by reducing the extreme fleshiness, movement in the posture is shown by increasing distance between the two legs as well as by using bents in the body posture.
  • Softness in the surface continues to get refined.
  • Transparent quality in the robes of the Buddha images is evident
  • Halo around the head is profusely decorated

The sculpture of Buddha belonging to Mathura style