Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum

Gandhara Art

Gandhara art was a unique artistic style that emerged in the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, located in present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan. The style was a fusion of Greek, Roman, and Indian cultural influences. It  flourished largely during the Kushan dynasty. Buddha was first represented in human form in the Gandhara art.

Gandhara Art
Gandhara Art


The figures in Gandhara art are portrayed with strong Hellenistic influences, showing Greek influences in their hairstyles, clothing, and poses. At the same time, the sculptures also reflect Indian artistic traditions, such as the use of the halo and the depiction of the Buddha as a compassionate and peaceful figure.

Flex Box Example

"Minute attention was given to the physical features like curly hair and muscles."

One of the most famous examples of this art is the statue of the Buddha, which is widely considered one of the finest examples of Buddhist sculpture. The statue shows the Buddha in a serene pose, with an expressive face and delicate features. The statue captures the essence of Buddhist teachings, which emphasize the importance of peace, compassion, and wisdom.

Question on Origin of Gandhara Art

Buddha sculpture has following features in Gandhara School

  1. Abahayamudra: Don’t fear
  2. Dhyanamudra: Meditation
  3. Dharmachakramudra: A preaching mudra
  4. Bhumisparshamudra: Touching the earth.

The art had a significant impact on the development of Buddhist art and iconography. The fusion of Greek, Roman, and Indian cultural influences in Gandhara art paved the way for the spread of Buddhism beyond India, influencing the development of Buddhist art in Central Asia, China, and Japan.

Flex Box Example

"Gandhara art is a prime example of the artistic and cultural exchange that occurred along the Silk Road."

Comparison of Gandhara Art and Mathura Art

School of Art Gandhara Mathura
Content Greek and Indian Indian
Religion Buddhism Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism
Appearance Calmness Delighted
Face Bearded Shaven face
Minute Features Longer eyes, Short ear lobes, sharp nose Longer ear lobes, thicker lips, wider eyes
Color Grey sandstone Red stone
Age Older Younger
MCQ: Comparison of Gandhara Art and Mathura Art

I hope you would have enjoyed reading the article about another art form.

Read: Art and Culture