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South and Southeast Asia

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A Shvetambara Jain Monk Instructing a King


Creation date: ca. 1300
Creation place: India

Other Information

Type: Manuscript Painting
Medium and Support: Opaque watercolor on palm leaf
Credit Line: Edwin Binney 3rd Collection
Accession Number: 1990.179
State/Province: Gujarat
Dimensions: 2 7/32 in. x 11 7/8 in. (5.6 cm x 30.2 cm)

Provenance

C.L. Naulakha, New Delhi, India ( - February 3, 1969)

Edwin Binney 3rd, San Diego, California (February 3, 1969 - August 27, 1990)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (August 27, 1990 - )

Label Copy

March 2005
Origins of Mughal Painting
Painted on palm leaf, this page from one of the fundamental texts of the Jain religion is representative of the long tradition of medieval Indian manuscript illumination. It originally would have been bound by a string passing through the hole in the center of each page. The small painting is inset between lines of horizontal text written in the Sanskrit-derived Prakrit language in the Devanagari script that is still used in northern India today. It features a discourse between an important Jain monk, clad in white robes, and a king. The two nuns in the center of the lower register carry the accouterments of Jain ascetics, namely a whisk broom and handkerchief, which are used to prevent inadvertent harm to tiny creatures while walking or speaking. The rules of ahimsa or “non-injury” are among the most important tenets of Jainism.

GALLERY 10 LABEL Nov 2013
A Shvetambara Jain Monk Instructing a King
Folio from a Kalpasutra manuscript
Northwestern India, Gujarat
Opaque watercolor on palm leaf, ca. 1300
Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, 1990.179

This painting features a discourse between the king Raji and an important Jain monk, Vimalprava, whose dress of white robes tells us he is part of the Shvetmabara sect. The two nuns in the lower register carry the monk’s whisk broom and handkerchief, used to prevent inadvertent harm to tiny creatures while walking or speaking.
This page comes from one of the fundamental texts of the Jain religion, and in form and pictorial style is representative of Indian manuscript production before the 1400s. The page is made from the leaf of a palm tree, and the book it came from was made up of many leaves like this, stacked and bound between wood covers.
Last Updated: 9/5/2017

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India Los Angeles County Museum of Art , 11/6/1994 - 1/21/1996

Art of South Asia: 13th - 19th Century The San Diego Museum of Art , 11/23/2013 - 6/8/2014

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

John Guy and Pratapaditya Pal. The Peaceful Liberators: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, California, 1994
Page Number: 202, Figure Number: 81, 81 (detail)

Robert E. Van Voorst. Anthology of World Scriptures Wadsworth Publishing Company. Belmont, California, 2000
Page Number: 108, Figure Number: 108

Robert E. Van Voorst. Anthology of World Scriptures Wadswoth Thomson Learning. Stamford, Connecticut, 2001
Page Number: 116, Figure Number: 116

Robert E. Van Voorst. Anthology of World Scriptures Thomson Wadsworth. Belmont, California, 2006
Page Number: 106, 107, Figure Number: 106

Neave, Dorinda and Ms. Marika Sardar. Asian Art Pearson Education Inc.. 2015
Page Number: 45, Figure Number: 2-31

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