Bharatha Darshana

A Living Tradition - Jeevanadi

Mathura art

A unique pattern of art that evolved in the 1st to 5th century AD, Mathura art holds a special place in Indian history. The sculptural masterpieces excavated here reflect the Indian art from early times to the medieval period.

The golden period of the art in Mathura was when the Kushana and Gupta kings ruled here. During the Kushana rule, these great supporters of art, encouraged the development of two schools of sculptural art - the Gandhara and Mathura art forms.

Although these school of art portrayed Indian compositions, they were renowned world over because the Gandhara school had huge influences of Greco-Roman art, while the Mathura school of art was entirely based on traditional Indian aesthetics. Noted for its vitality and variety of Indian themes, the zeal of Brahmanism, Jainism and Buddhism is clearly evident in this art form.

The artists of Mathura Art were pioneers who created some priceless paintings and sculptures. The most famous creation of this period is the humanlike image of the Buddha who was represented by certain symbols. Images of Jain Tirthankars and Hindu deities were also created by these marvellous artists in Mathura. Some of these specimens of this art form are still preserved in the famous museums at Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi and Mathura.