Mathura school of Art
In the art history of India, Mathura occupies a prominnet place. The sculptural marvels excavated here provide an insight into Indian art from early times to the medieval period. However, the golden period of its art was from the first to the fifth century AD when the Kushan and Gupta kings were in power.
The Kushans, who were great patrons of art, ruled over a large empire in North India from AD 1 to AD 175. Two schools of sculptural art developed during this period-Gandhara and Mathura. Although it portrayed Indian themes, the Gandhara School was based on Greco-Roman norms encapsulating foreign techniques and an alien spirit. On the other hand, the Mathura school was completely Indian.
The Mathura School of Art, noted for its vitality and assimilative character, was a result of the religious zeal of Brahmanism, Jainism and Buddhism. Although it was inspired by the early Indian arts of Bharhut and Sanchi, the influence of Gandhara arts was also manifested in its sculptures. Further, it amalgamated the features of old folk cults like Yaksha worship with contemporary cults, creating a style rich in aesthetic appeal.
There are few creations in the whole range of Indian art which can vie in elegance, delicacy and charm with the lovely feminine figures created by Mathura artists. The innocent but seductive damsels of the Mathura School
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