February 24, 2024

HPAS/Allied Mains 2022 Answer Writing Challenge Day 2 : Model Answer

Question: Explain the features of Gandhara art form. What were Greek and Roman influence on Gandhara art?

Understanding of question: 2 parts first one is about Ghandhara art features and 2nd part is what outside influences like Greek and Roman had on Ghandara art form .   
IntroductionGandhara art, style of Buddhist visual art that developed in what is now northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan between the 1st century BCE and the 7th century CE. The style, of Greco-Roman origin, seems to have flourished largely during the Kushan dynasty and was contemporaneous with an important but dissimilar school of Kushan art at Mathura (Uttar Pradesh, India). 
Keywords Kushan, roman, Buddha, heio-centric, etc 
Main Body Features of the Gandhara School of Art

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In the specimens of the craftsmanship of this art-the folds and turns of the clothes were exhibited with minute care and skill.
  4. In this art the ornaments that were carved on the statues received much attention which added to the physical beauty of the statue.
  5. Polishing the statues is an important feature of this art.
  6. The specimens were mostly prepared in stone, terracotta and clay.
  7. The technique used in making the statues was Greek but, the idea, inspiration and personality all were Indian.


1.       Artistic interpretation: The legendary interpretation of Buddha is sometimes presented through roman motifs like triton.

2.       Artistic techniques: In artistic interpretation; Buddha of Gandhara is sometimes presented through roman art techniques using vine scroll; cherub wearing Garland

3.       Anthropomorphic tradition: The tradition of representation of Buddha in human form is inspired from roman anthropomorphic tradition .

4.       Dresses: The outer robe of Buddha of Gandhara like kaaya; antarvasa resembles to attire of roman gods.

5.       Greek god as protector: In many images of Buddha in Gandhara ; he is seen under the protection of Greek god Hercules.

6.       Vajrapani: Vajrapani found in the right hand of future Buddha is told as transformed symbol of Hercules who is seen as protector of Buddha.

7.       Greek architectural influence: Some images of Buddha in Gandhara are presented in Greek architectural environment bearing the affinity of Corinthian.

8.       Artistic beauty: The Apollo like face of Buddha; natural realism; wavy hair as seen in images of Buddha in Gandhara resembles to Hellenistic tradition.

9.       Intellectual affinity: The hello and bun of Gandhara Buddha signifies intellectual imbibitions of Buddha from Greek

Conclusion The art of the Gandhara school was primarily Mahayana and shows Greco-Roman influence. 
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

© 2024 Civilstap Himachal Design & Development