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Digambara Jain manuscript page: Jina and worshipper

Accession Number
1975/2.165

Title
Digambara Jain manuscript page: Jina and worshipper

Artist(s)
Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Sirohi School

Object Creation Date
circa 18th century

Medium & Support
ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions
11 1/8 in x 7 1/16 in (28.3 cm x 18 cm);11 1/8 in x 7 1/16 in (28.3 cm x 18 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel.

Label copy
In the upper register of this folio, a woman holds a child who is crowned and adorned with jewels. The golden hue of the infant, along with the fan held above their heads signifies the child’s importance. They sit in devotion before a Jina (Jain teacher) indicated by his nudity—a trademark of Jina of the Digambara sect and a sign of purity.
For Jain devotees, commissioning a book fulfills the lay obligation of charity, while beholding a book helps the individual achieve the proper mental state for spiritual guidance. It was customary for a lay donor to commission a copy of a text for presentation to his spiritual teacher and ultimately to the monk’s temple library. Over the centuries, libraries received great quantities of texts, which were employed in the instruction of monks and nuns. Monks and nuns were discouraged, however, from practicing the art of painting: one text expressly warns them of the power of painting to arouse sensual feelings.
(6/28/10)
(South and Southeast Asia Gallery Rotation, Spring 2010)

Subject matter
Dedication of sacred books is required of Jain devotees, and book production reflects the integral relationship among the laity, monastic community, and the Jina. Commissioning a book fulfills the lay obligation of charity, while beholding a book helps the individual achieve the proper mental state for spiritual guidance. It was customary for a lay donor to commission a copy of a text for presentation to his spiritual teacher and ultimately to the monk’s temple library. Over the centuries, libraries received great quantities of texts, which were employed in the instruction of monks and nuns. Monks and nuns were discouraged, however, from practicing the art of painting: one text expressly warns them of the power of painting to arouse sensual feelings.

Physical Description
In the upper register of this folio a woman holds a child who is crowned and adorned with jewels. The golden hue of the infant, along with the fan held above their heads signifies the child’s importance. They sit in devotion before a Jina, indicated by his nudity—a trademark of Digambara Jina and a sign of purity.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
narrative painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Jainism
children (people by age group)
infants
mothers
nudes (representations)
women (female humans)

3 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Introduction to Manuscripts and Early Print
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
C2 - Chanchani - yogic body (second paper rotation)
(Part of: Curriculum/Collection)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display