Ancient Gandhara, in what is now Afghanistan and Pakistan, was the first place to begin representational forms of the Buddha, circa 100-200 C.E. Up until then, he had been shown stylistically, as the Bodhi tree, or as his footprint with the dharmachakra.
But here’s what really gets me. These Gandharan Buddhas aren’t Asian in appearance. Some Westerners who feel that Buddhism has no place over here, are completely groundless. The Buddhas message has no boundaries.