Jaina altar piece of the 24 [Caturvimsati] Jinas: with standing nude figure of Mahavira cast in the round occupying central area of base, flanked by small tirthankaras; incsribed but unread. From Mysore, Karnataka.Artist(s)IndianArtist NationalityIndian (South Asian)Object Creation Date15th century - 16th centuryMedium & SupportbronzeDimensions
10 9/16 in x 7 3/8 in x 3 15/16 in (26.8 cm x 18.8 cm x 10 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. FigielLabel copy
This miniature-scale altarpiece presents the entire cast of twenty-four jinas. All are shown as “sky-clad,” marking them as images related to the Digambara sect. The fact that all the jinas look alike, apart from scale and placement, expresses an important doctrinal point: the role of a jina is not to develop a personal philosophy or even to put a personal stamp on inherited beliefs, but to transmit an existing teaching.
Small bronze images such as those seen here would be placed in a special niche in a home or offered as a donation to a temple.
Exhibited in "Divine Encounters, Earthly Pleasures: Twenty Centuries of Indian Art," 12/12/03-2/22/04.Primary Object Classification Sculpture Primary Object TypealtarpieceCollection AreaAsianRights
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