About the Book:
The book, Buddhist art of Mathura is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject based not merely on the old and newly unearthed antiquarian remain but in the overall perspective of archaeology, history, numismatics, epigraphy, literary tradition and foreigners’ recorded. It incorporates several new interoperations and identifications of architectural terms and iconographic complexities. The detailed chart of the Buddhist establishments, with relevant references is of much academic interest.
Besides an up-to-date account of the archaeological campaigns in the Mathura region the significance of the recently excavated rare sculptural wealth of Govindnagar has been unfold with great ability. The origin of the Buddha image has been discussed afresh with new facts and more convincing arguments. The framing of the chronology of the entire Buddhist plethora of Mathura from the 1st century I.C. to the late Gupta period is of outstanding value. The twelve distinct groups mark a phased stylistic development. The Socio-religious and economic factors have also been given due consideration while discussing the complicated problems of style and the recorded date.
A remarkable contribution is the account of several unknown Buddhist establishments and introduction of new names of artists of early Mathura school of sculpture. The book convincingly proves that the Buddhist pantheon had considerably developed at Mathura in the Kusana period itself. The writing is marked by restraint and dignity throughout. The author has come out with this ‘magnum opus’ in the fullness of times with the maturity of his judgment.
The Book is valuable contribution and welcome addition to the Indological Studies.
About the Author:
Dr. R. C. Sharma (b. 1936) is a well known authority on the sculptural art of India, especially of Mathura and the art of early Buddhism. A post- graduate in Ancient Indian History and Culture from the Banaras Hindu University, Dr. Sharma completed his research from the University of Calcutta. He received his first training in field archeology in the Archaeological Survey of India and also served this organisation for about three years, before joining the State Museum of Lucknow as Assistant Curator in 1960. During the period of service in this museum he underwent a specialised training in Museology in Paris, in 1967-68, when he also visited several countries in Europe to study the collections and methods of presentation and other aspects of museums’ work of Europe.
He was promoted to the post of Curator, later Director, and Government Museum, Mathura in 1969. Since May 1980 he has been working as director, State Museum, Lucknow, the largest museum in Uttar Pradesh. He has been associated with a number of other institutions and activities as Secretary and Adviser, Vrindaban Research Institute; Member, Research Degree Committee, Agra University; Secretary U.P. Coin Committee; Editor, Bulletin of Museums and Archaeology in U.P. and Vice President, Museum Association of India.
Author of Mathura Museum Introduction, Mathura Sangrahalap-Parichaya, Mathura Museum and Art and Co-author with Dr. N. P. Joshi of Gandhara Sculptures in the State Museum, Lucknow. Dr. Sharma has also contributed a large number of research papers on Indian art, culture and allied subjects. The present book is the outcome of his intimate knowledge and vast experience of the subject.