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Statue of a man and lion, Mathura

Statue of a man and lion, Mathura

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1885

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(842)

Item number: 1003842

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a sculpture from Mathura, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. Mathura has extensive archaeological remains as it was an important city from the mid first millennium onwards. It rose to particular prominence under the Kushans as the town was their southern capital. Cunningham described this sculpture (2nd century AD) as representing Hercules strangling the Nemaean lion. Above the broken heads there is some foliage of the Ashoka tree. In his 'Report of a tour in the Central Provinces and Lower Gangetic Doab in 1881-82' (A.S.I. vol. XVII, Calcutta, 1884), p. 109 he wrote, "As this group could not have been made for the use of the Hindus, whether Brahmans or Buddhists, I conclude with very great probability that it must have been sculptured by some foreign artist for the use of the Greeks resident of Mathura." The piece is now in the Indian Museum, Calcutta.

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