About the Book :
About two thousand years ago, the land named Gandhara on the west banks of the Indus fell successively under the domination of the Greeks, the Sakas and the Parthians. This book gives an account of the school of art which formed itself under these widely divergent cultures. The early Gandhara school is chiefly notable in providing the earliest works of art in which the Buddha was represented in bodily form. Before this, he had always been shown symbolically; the characteristic and now familiar Buddha image was developed from the work of the early Gandhara sculptors. Sir John Marshall begins by analysing the formative influences of Gandharan art, its relationship to the early school of Central India and Hindustan, and the extent of its debt to the Greeks. he then traces the history of its development, in a remarkable and carefully chosen series of illustrations. The text is in the form of a commentary on these illustrations; the reader can thus share the author's extensive knowledge of the Gandhara school while observing for himself its growth and decline. Since it deals with the birth of their religious art as it exists today, this book must be of interest to a great many people in Buddhist countries. It will also be of value to oriental historians and those concerned with Eastern art in general.