PERIOD OF GRECO-BUDDHIST CULTURE
All the aesthetic style of India undergoes a transformation with the arrival of the Greeks in their territory and the formation of Hellenistic kingdoms. Alexander the Great conquered the Punjab, and in the year 205 BC Demetrious the Invincible founded the Indo-Greek kingdom in parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India. The period of Greco-Buddhist culture ranged from the V century BC to the 7th century of the Christian Era. This culture shined especially in the Gandhara area, in which today is Pakistan, and spread throughout India. Transformations in costumes, dressing, hairstyles, painting and sculpture, were very important at that time. Classical Greek style prevailed in all aesthetic manifestations. In this period, approximately in the 1st century of the Christian Age, were produced the first anthropomorphic representations of Buddha. Before this period, Buddha was shown only through sacred symbols: the empty throne, the wheel, or the footprints. Figures of Buddha, in sculptures and reliefs, show a classical Greek figure, which is prevalent today, with wavy hair and a bun in the head crown, at the style of Apollo of the Belvedere. All this stylistic form, profoundly influenced by the Greek culture, will decrease in successive centuries: shapes will be less realistic and more symbolic, but the printing and the stamp of the style will remain by centuries until today. In the right image we can see one of the figures of Buddha, from Gandhara, of the 1st century. In the left image, a statue from Gandhara of the same age clearly shows the Indo-Greek syncretism.