Go around the world of Buddha statues 16: the birth of Buddha statues 3

 .  head of a Buddha, 2nd century, Mathura

< 1. head of a Buddha, 2nd century, Mathura >


We have previously looked at Buddha statues that began in Gandhara of Pakistan.

From this issue, we look at Buddha statues that began in Mathura of the inland regions of India.


The Buddha statues that were born in these two places varied in some expression while having the same religious meaning.

There were a fusion of religion and culture, and impulses originating in foreign culture.

Through the artistic expression of the Buddha statue, I investigate the relation of symbol, religion, and culture.









seated Buddha Triad, 2nd century, Ahicchatra 

< 2. seated Buddha Triad, 2nd century, Ahicchatra >




Buddha statue of Mathura

The head of figure 1 is a round face and has thick lip than the heads of Buddha in Gandhara, and is tonsured and rolls up long remainder hair.

The heads of Buddha in Gandhara bundle up rich rippling hair.

The Mathura statues used red sandstone and the Gandhara statues used black schist.

The Buddha statue of figure 2 has the oldest form of Mathura unlike Gandhara.

It are features that the head that I mentioned above, the thin clothes that hung only on unilateral shoulder, and the homely expression giving you a sense of vitality.

Although there was also the seated Buddha Triads in Gandhara, this triad is not known whether two attendant statues of the right and the left are Deva (Indra, Brahma) or Bodhisattva.

The left statue has a Vajra( beetle) that Indra should have, but wears a scarf and a short breechcloth.

Therefore it is subject to the influence of western Gandhara.












standing Buddha, 2nd century, Mathura

< 3. standing Buddha, 2nd century, Mathura >


The expression of the swelling of clothes at the statue’s neck and the hanging the clothes on the both shoulders is the same as Gandhara.

At a later time, Gupta Empire reaching prosperity of Buddhist art inherits the expression of U-shaped pleats of the cloth that hung down from the front.





head of a Bodhisattva, 2nd century, Mathura

< 4. head of a Bodhisattva, 2nd century, Mathura >


 seated Buddha, 3rd century, Saheth-Maheth

< 5. seated Buddha, 3rd century, Saheth-Maheth >

The head hair of this statue becomes a lot of small and spiral hair and the cross-legged pose lacks total balance because the legs are short.

With the decline of Kushan Empire, the stylization might have advanced.





The feature of Mathura Buddha statue

The Gandhara Buddha statue meditates, but the early Mathura Buddha statue opens the eyes.

Gandhara Buddha statue has sloping shoulders, but Mathura Buddha statue has square shoulders, therefore it is healthy image.

Most of seated Buddha statues in Gandhara link the both hands, but most of things in Mathura raise the right hand and turn the palm of the hand at the front.

This is a meaning that removes people’s fear and uneasiness.


Next time, I look at why Buddha statue was born in Mathura.












Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: Go around the world of Buddha statues | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Go around the world of Buddha statues 16: the birth of Buddha statues 3

  1. Reblogged this on @シャララネット ,Shalala net / @ラスカル39号 @矢萩 Senkou仙孝 join tracking records. and commented:
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