As the Director of the Archaeological Survey of India for more than thirty years, at a time when new finds of Gandhāra art were constantly pouring in, as the excavator of Taxila, as an excavator in Gandhāra itself, Sir John Marshall has had a unique opportunity of building up first-hand knowledge of Gandhāra art. That his views on this great subject should be made known was most desirable, and the Department of Archaeology in Pakistan is to be thanked for having undertaken to publish this volume.
The illustration is abundant and, nearly all of it, excellent. It consists of 152 photographs, of sufficient size (in happy contrast with most of the pictures in Foucher’s Art grécobouddhique, and in some of Sir John Marshall’s own publications, Taxila included), carefully selected and arranged in order to exemplify the development of .‘the Early School’, as seen by Sir John. Many a piece is here properly reproduced for the first time. As a compendium of good pictures the volume will be most useful.
But the book is far more than just an album of well-chosen photographs, with commentary. As the subtitle says, it is a story. This story is told in twelve chapters. An introduction (Chapter 1) deals with the beginnings of Buddhism in India, and with the problem of how Buddhism fared under the Greek princes of the North-West during the second century B.C.… Among the myriads of Buddhist monuments that are preserved there is not one that can be referred with certainty to Greek authorship in that period (p. 4). Chapter 2 is about the Early Indian school of Art. Then come three chapters on the origins: Chapter 3, The Beginning of Gandhāra art: the Šaka period; Chapter 4, The Renaissance of Hellenistic art under the Parthians and its eflect on Gandhāra art; Chapter 5, Childhood of Gandhāra art. To Adolescence two chapters are devoted (Chapters 6 and 7), to Maturity four: Chapter 8 deals with the Period of Maturity in general; Chapter 9 with the Early Maturity period; the two following ones deal with the Later Maturity period, Chapter 10 with the reliefs, and Chapter 11 is about images and decorative carvings. Chapter 12 gives the conclusions.