Miscellaneous sculptures from Mathura 1003847
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of railing pillars, Naga with cup and other figures from Mathura, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1880s-90s. Mathura has extensive archaeological remains as it was an important city from the middle of the first millennium onwards. It rose to particular prominence under the Kushans as the town was their southern capital and the majority of sculptures shown in this photograph date to this period. While many of the pieces shown here remain unidentified, the fragment of a railing pillar, next to the door in the photograph, was described by J.Ph.Vogel in 1910 in the "Catalogue of the Archaeological Museum at Mathura", p. 143, "On the obverse is a male figure of Faun-like appearance with elaborate turban, necklace of beads and other ornaments. He is standing under a mango tree in blossom with his right hand raised to his lips, and with left placed against his thigh. Over the tree is a balcony without figures..." The figure is identified as Rishyasringa due to the prominent horn on his forehead.