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Sculptures from Mathur Author(s): Ananda Coomaraswamy Source: Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Vol. 25, No.

150 (Aug., 1927), pp. 50-54 Published by: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4170065 . Accessed: 23/03/2011 07:04
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MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BULLETIN Sculptures from Mathura reliefof theold UNDOUBTEDLY thefinest schoolin the Museum Mathura collections, acquired halfis a recently or,indeed, in America, pediment, of whichthe two sidesarerepresented The piece conillustration. in theaccompanying on carved sistsof a thinslab of red sandstone, has taken both sides. Fortunately the fracture line,so that placea little to onesideof themedian almost intact; symbols arepreserved thefour central have corremustobviously the missing portions to thosepreserved, and thisis takenfor sponded in thefollowing description. granted (Lomasa As inthewell-known rock-cut examples at Nasik),* the 13i cave,Barabar Hills;caitya-hall the outlines of woodenprotopediment preserves beams. In ourreliefthe sides typeswitharched witha repeating of these"beams" aredecorated of three varieties, thesameon each side ornament fitted of the slab. The wholewas undoubtedly intostone andcovered lintel; the by a stone jambs thusconstituted wasprobably themain or doorway to a temple, whichmayhave been onlyentrance of stone, butwasmore likely of brick, with entirely of the stonepartsabove referred to.t exception obtained by The exact width of the doorway, the edgeof thecarving from doubling thedistance to the central or 39 point,was 99 centimetres, inches. the The subject-matter of the reliefs occupying " is unmistakable; spacesbetweenthe "beams scenes from the life of the Buddha. we havefour mostlikelydatingfroma time when Although into of the Buddha were already coming statues a statue, use(thetemple itselfmayhaveenshrined an altar therelief withsymbols), adheres ormerely to the oldermethodof representing the strictly in a purely manner. GreatEvents symbolic to the usualgroup Two of theseevents belong the GreatEnof four. These are respectively represented by the lightenment (Mahcisambodhi), Bodhi-tree with its votivegarlands and enclosing and the Preaching of the First railing (vedikd), of the morecorrectly calledthe Turning Sermon, Wheel of the Law (Dharmacakra-pravartana), or Wheel set up represented by theDharmacakra the the pillar are represented on a pillar. Beside the placeof the event,the deer,whichindicate now Sarnath; and with Deer Park of Benares, these are shown the asceticswho heard the the Buddha's firstfollowers. and became teaching thatthe monastic robesof the It will be noticed as theyshould latter are composed, be, of many smallpieces of cloth joinedtogether-a detail it occasionally in sculpture, indicated though rarely The art. even in ChineseBuddhist survives t on the otherhand,is honored by a Bodhi-tree,
*See my H.;story of Indian and Indonesian Art (subsequently referred to as HIIA), Figs. 28, 31. tA pediment of this kind represented above the doorway of a structural temple is indicated in a relief from Mathura, HIIA. Fig. 69. tCf. Kelley, A Buddhist stele of the Wei Dynasty, Chicago, 1927. Pl. 10. It appears also at Amaravati.

among the studies before the final one is determined upon, and even after this, changes in pose and detail are frequently noted. Some of them may appear at first sight to be trivial sketches or memoranda, but such notes are definitely needed in the process of working out a oomplete composition, and while the final result of a work of art commands the more general interest, no serious student of an artist is properly equipped until he has carefully examined the means and stages by which this result has been accomplished. These memoranda,notes, and changes also give a human touch to the methods of a master-workman who was great enough to acknowledge his few errorsand to improve a definite conception whenever it was possible to do so. Self-criticismand the attitude of mind that nothing should be left undone to accomplish the right result in the end were two of Sargent's cardinal principles. As an of this may be mentioned the fact that illustration on each return to the Boston Public Library he made minor changes in the work already installed. This thoroughnessled him to welcome the use of scale models. It was Mr. McKim, the architect of the Public Library, who firstprovided him with the one which is being shown in the exhibition. Similarly,Sargent had models made of the rotunda and the staircaseof the Museum on which he tried all his experiments. In the end he came to regard such scale models not merely as a convenience but as a necessity. called a selfSargent has been often and truthfully contained unit. He was this both mentally and physically, and he preferred to do, and with few exceptions did, everything himself-not only the final work, but all the preliminaries. There was practicallyno squaring off and laying in by assistants, and rarely any enlarging or painting up to full size from a small model of the sculpturalwork. As is so often the case with many great men, assistantsfrequentlystood idle while he himself did some comparativelyunimportantpreliminary which could have been done equally well by a hireling. In spite of his artistic solitude and the limited number of his confidants,Sargent was ever ready to listen to advice. Such men as McKim and SaintGaudens exerted a lasting influence on him in this field of activity. Although it has been claimed that Sargent did not rise to his greatest height in his decorative work, nevertheless it was an essential and important phase in his career, and the opportunity afforded by an exhibition of his preliminarywork, until now somewhat in the background,reveals the man in a new and interesting light. Using the term decoration in its broadest sense, it is of first importance to know that Sargent considered it a field of greatest interest for a properly equipped painter, not only from the intellectual side, but also as offering the widest scope in what is commonly known as "technique," defined in this connection as methods of accomplishment.


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Half- pediment

Buddhist, Early Kusana, Mathura CharlesAmos Cummings BequestFund Fig. I

garden at S'r&vasti.* in the Jetavana being,one of an originalpair; thisbeing Buddharesided mythical holdingin one hand a basket The temple is squarein plan. At the ground is a wingedman-lion indiwithwoodendoorsis clearly and with the othercastingsingleflowers level an entrance of flowers of cated, the latterevidentlyturning on tenons fitted at the tree, probablyto the accompaniment spoken prayer,a mode of worshipstill usual in into sockets in the linteland threshold. It is also shownthat each leaf of the dooris made of Hindu temples. It will be observed that the clearly is made of leaves; such baskets two piecesand strengthened by bands,presumably basket of flowers in reliefs of the Kuaana period* are frequently of iron. Above the main cella projectsa railed and are also gallery,within which rises the upper part of the shown in the hands of worshippers, of auspicious significance.T of two stories,each provided used as symbols temple, consisting Of the two other scenes, one representsthe with a small window, and crowned by a fourset up on an altar and worshippedby angled dome. Whethera wooden construction is Bowl-relic, one of an originalpair to be understood,or a type of wooden origin anotherwinged man-lion, disposed; the hands are folded constructed symmetrically in brick or stone,can hardly be deterin worship. Behind the bowl, at mined; mostlikelya building of brick, with a stone (anijali position) the half-circle door-frame the back of the altar,is represented and thatchedroof,is intended. withthe peripheral ornament The relief is in any case a rather scalloped of a nimbus, valuableaddiof earlyKusanawork. Although a tion to the scantymaterial characteristic availablein illustration nimbusof this kind is commonlyassociatedwith of structural templesof thisperiod. No structural images,I do not recallanother templesof older than fourthor fifth century date the anthropomorphic with a symbol. instance in whichit appears but from this and other reliefsit is have survived, item is a structural temple,honored nevertheless The fourth had evident that temple architecture with lotusflowers, already,as indeed we mighthave expected from by maleand femaleworshippers attended by a female dwarf bearing a tray of the references in the Epics,attainedto a relatively that the offerings. There was, no doubt,a corresponding advancedstage; and it becomesapparent groupon the otherside of the shrine. The latter later types must have been derived by a natural or cell, in which the the Gandhakuti, represents of the Jetavanagarden,showing the *Well-knownrepresentations
and the of the Buddha,the Gandhakuti, Kosambakuti, threeresidences is are found at Bharhut and Sanci. The nameGandhakuti Karorikuti, Kusanaperiod,A. D. 50-320. frequently applied to a Buddhist temple,e. g., to the greattemrle at tThereis a good example,represented as one of a groupof the Eight Bodhgaya. Anotherinstance of a Gandhakuti of the occurrence (butin on a JainaayagapatafromMathura, thiscase with a seated Buddharepresented withinit) as partof a series of Auspicious Symbols(astamangala) now in the LucknowMuseum(Smith,V. A., lain stupa of Mathura, life scenes,appears DhruvaTila stupabase,illustrated in on the Mathura Pi. Vll). Smith,Jain stupaof Mathura,P1.CVII.

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Buddha David P. KimballFund Fig. 2

Early Kusana, Mathura

process of development from those which were already widely current in or before the Kusana period. Indiantemple architecturecannot possibly have sprung into being suddenly, and without origins; before long, from a study on the one hand of the earliest reliefs, and on the other of early forms surviving in later structures and reliefs, it should be possible to reconstruct much of its history. The sharp angles at the ends of the spaces between the "beams" of our pediment are filled in with four-legged makaras, or crocodiles, an arrangementalready met with in the Maurya period (Lomasa Rsi cave) and common to our example and to three other known examples of the type. Finally, in the spandrils are represented flying Garudas, carrying in their beaks three-headed

serpents (nagas). These, too, can be paralleled elsewhere. It is noteworthy that the GaruJ4 of this type, with a parrot-likebeak and long plumed tail, must certainly be reckoned amongst the analogues or prototypes of the later Persian Simulrgh ("roc "), the Chinese phoenix (feng), and the Indian flying monsters that carry elephants (nagas) in their claws and beak. The Museum example adds a fourth to the small number of pediment slabs of the type already known, and a second to those which are definitely Buddhist, the two others being apparently Jaina.*
*The three other examplesare all of Mathuraorigin. They are (I) a half-pediment, apparently Jaina,fromthe KankaliTila, now J 555 in the Lucknow Museum(Smith,lain stupa of Mathura,Pls. XIX, XX); (2) a completepediment,Jaina, now B 207 in the Lucknow Museum(unpublished); and (3) a half-pediment, now No. 1, I Buddhist, in the Mathura Museum(Vogel. MathuraSchool of Sculpture,Arch. Surv.India,Ann. Rep. 1906-1907, P1. LVI).


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that the MathuraBuddhatype is a direct Bulletin, of the old Indianschool,and that it development or plasticity, whetherin iconography owes nothing, to Hellenisticsources; and further,that it is the mainbasisof the Buddhaimageas finallyevolved throughout in the Gupta period and distributed of Indiaproper.* and beyondthe limits This type, seated or standing,is characterized by the shaven head (the short curlsare a middle present),t and laterinvariably development, Kusana spiraluwi4a (missingin our example),the right hand raised,the left elbow extended and hand on the thigh,the clingingdrapery clenched resting of the folds; plastically, and schematictreatment prominence and solidityof the forms, by the fullness and energyof the gesture. Most of the breasts, can be observed in the of these peculiarities Museumfigure. To right and left stand attendants, now headless; on the proper left, a male figure,probablya Yaksa, fly-whiskin hand,and malefigureholdingan object on the right another which may be a vaira, and if so, would designate Indra. Behind the head there was, no doubt, a simple circularnimbus. The pedestal, now with an abraded,was probablya "lion-throne," of donorson the front. The or figures inscription is height of the figureover all, as now preserved,

or2812 inches. centimetres,

image AnotherBuddhafigureis a smallstanding datingfromthe middleor latter (Fig. 3) probably A. D. (middleKuaana); partof the secondcentury or nearly7 inches. the heightis 1712 centimetres, and in the fullness The robe coversboth shoulders of the body shows of its folds and concealment some traceof the Hellenisticmanner. The right hand is raised,the left holdsthe gatheredends of the robe. Between the feet is the remnantof what was probablyintended for a seated lion, " The lion of the S'akya S'akya-sirmha, designating nimbushas beaded and scalclan." The circular Middle Kusana, Mathura Buddha plain. but is still comparatively loped ornament, Thomas Oaks RogersFund and unusualfeature is the The only remarkable very few other expresenceof shoulder-flames; Fig. 3 are known, and these amples of this peculiarity however, are all Gandharan.1tShoulder-flames, in adhering are typicalin the case of figures fromthe threeotherspecimens It differs of S'ivaand those indicationof the of Kusana kingson coins,and represent to a non-anthropomorphic strictly the fiery personage; this adherenceto the older principal indicatea method may,but need not necessarily, *Cf. The Indian origin of the Buddha figure, J. A. 0. S., Vol. 46, date, for both methodspersisted 1926. somewhatearlier tradition asserts that when the Buddha shore his locks " his at the close of the hairtBuddhist side by side, even at Amaravati was reduced to two inches in length, and curling from the right, lay close to his head. It remained that length so long as he lived, and the A. D. secondcentury the same. There was no need at all to shave either hair or beard The cultimageof a seated Buddha(Fig. 2) is beard This was evidently first interpreted to mean any more'" (Nidanakatha). short lock left on top of the head curled tightly from the right, a single that workin higherrelief. Although as in the spiral a moresubstantial early Kusana type; later, to mean that of the usnisa'" whole at a later all the short hair remaining formed many separate curls covering the seem to have been reworked the features cut with a sword while gathered together was the hair Inasmuch as a good exampleof the head. period,*the figureprovides in the hand held over the head, the earlier interpretationmust be regarded as the most satisfactory; it did not, however, very long survive in art. purelyIndianearlyKuana type in which no trace The usnisa as a cranial protuberance is only characteristicallydeveloped in can be recognized. I have connection with the short curls; in this way it appears a!ready at Bodhgaya of Gandharan plasticity about 100 B. C., though not in a Buddha figure (Bachhofer, L., Eine elsewheresuggested,and shall attempt to prove Pfeiler-Figur aus Bodhgaya, Jahrb. as. Kunst, 1925). The early issue of the Art Kusana spiral lock is certainly not a cranial bump. in a forthcoming conclusively
:' '

*The typical Buddha head of the early Kusana period is representcd in the Catalogue of the Indian Collections, Fart 11, Sculpture, PI. 2; 1andHIIA, Figs. 79, 83, 84, 96.

-Four examples are listed in Arch. Surv. India, Ann. Rep. 1921-22, p. 65, Pi. XXV a, and J. A. S. B, 111,1834, p. 163; the type is also common in Central Asian frescoes (Grunwedel, Altbuddhisfische Kulfstactten in Chinesisch-Turkestan, Figs. 339-344 and 351-354).

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Kusana, Mathura ArthurMason Knapp Fund Fig. 4

Toilet Scene

Kusana, Mathura Thomas Oaks Rogers Fund Fig. 5

energy inherent in a royal or divine personage.* In the case of the Buddha there may be a specific reference either to the Great Miracle at Sr&vasti, when flames proceeded from the upper part of his body, and streamsof water from his feet,t or to the occasion when the Buddha manifested the divine fire when overcoming the naga in the fire temple of the Kasyapa heretics. On the latter occasion " the Blessed One," who is spoken of as the "perfect master of the element of fire," "converting his body into fire, sent forth flames" (Mahalvagga, 1, 15, 4 and 6). The square panel in countersunkrelief,illustrated in Figure 4, measures 25 by 28 cm. or about 10 by 1 1 inches. It seems to representa Bodhisattva, seated on a throne with high side panels, and supported by two dwarfish recumbent yaksas; a yaksa and yaksi, each with a fly-whisk, stand behind as attendants. The position is one of greater relaxation, one of the legs being pendent; but the hands are held in the same characteristicpositions as those of the Buddha. The exact architecturalapplication of the piece is doubtful. The date may be late Kusana. Another and smallersquare panel (1 71 2 cm. or 7 inches square) in countersunk relief forms one
*For the manifestation of flame by Kaniska on the occasion of his conflict with a nagaraja, see Beal, Buddhist Records of the Western World, p. 65. It may he observed that the shoulder-wings of certain other types, e. g., the Mathura Surya of Arch. Surv. Ind., Ann. Rep. 1909-10, Pl. XXVIII, may be derived from shoulder-flames; a transformation also known in the Mediterranean area, see Jacobsthal, Der Blitz in der orientalischen und griechischen Kunst. The fiery energy denoted by the shoulder-flames is essentially solar. In this connection it may be observed that the Babylonian solar deity Shamash, when represented anthropomorphically, has shoulder-flames (more rarely streams of water); and when symbolically, by a disk with four light rays alternating with four streams (cf. the double miracle at Sravasti). There cannot be any doubt that some elements of sun and fire worship are present in early Buddhist art. Cf. Stein, Scrindia, p. 874. tFor this double miracle at Sravasti, cf. Foucher, La'rt greco-bouddhique du Gandhara, Vol. 1, pp. 351, 535, and Fig. 263.

face of a railing cross-bar(Fig. 5), of which the reverse bears a lotus medallion in high relief. The scene so gracefully treated is one of those toilet or genre subjects characteristicof the Mathura school. Such themes, when a complete identification can be made, are often found to illustratesome particularstory,usuallya Jdtaka. As it stands, the relief represents a man binding a fillet on his hair, preparatory to tying the voluminous turban which is held on a tray in the hands of an attendant maidservant. ANANDA COOMARASWAMY.

The Tomb of Queen Hetep-heres clearance of the tombof Queen Hetep-heres are of interest. The alabaster sarcophagus of the Queen, foundclosedand undisturbed, was opened on March 3 last, after all other objects in the chamber had been removed,and was discovered to be empty. It was then thoughtthatthe recess in the west wallof the chamber, whichwas blocked with masonryand sealed with a coatingof plaster, mightcontainthe body of the Queen, and accordingly,on May 23, this recess was opened. In it was found an alabasterCanopic box in which were still preservedthe entrails of the Queen, but no body. All possibleplaces in which the body could have been put havingnow been examined, it becomesevidentthatit musthavebeen destroyed by the thieves who entered the originaltomb at DashAur, and who must have tornit to pieces in abstracting the jewelrywith which it would have been adorned. Furthermore the discovery of the Canopic box and its contentsshows us that the body of the Queen had been mummified.

RECENT advicesfromDr. Reisneron the final