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The Kusana Art of Mathura

Title:The Kusana Art of Mathura
Author:Bajpai, K.D.
Publication:Marg
Enumeration:Vol. 15 Issue no. 2; March 1962, p. 27-42
Abstract:The extant sculptural remains in Mathura go back to the pre-Kushana centuries, but it was during the Kushana period (1-c. 250 CE) that Mathura images, made with spotted red sandstone, travelled to far off places, and communicated the artist's range of expression. Kanishka's reign gave an impetus to Buddhist art, and this trend was further augmented by his successors. There are strong possibilities that the anthropomorphic Buddha image originated at Mathura in the 1st century CE, as the site had a tradition of free standing statues. In Mathura art, the statues of Bodhisattva and Buddha exhibit various attitudes (mudras), events of Buddha's life, and Jataka stories. Images of Jaina tirthankaras, yakshas and yakshis, nagas and naginis, Saka-Kushana rulers, the Brahmanical pantheon, and terracotta figurines were also made in Mathura. Remains of Buddhist and Jaina stupas have been found, among which the railing pillars are particularly important for the study of social life in the Kushana period.

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