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Kalpasutra manuscript, leaf: A Jaina monk (fol. no. 2r)

Accession Number
1980/2.247

Title
Kalpasutra manuscript, leaf: A Jaina monk (fol. no. 2r)

Artist(s)
Indian

Artist Nationality
Indian (South Asian)

Object Creation Date
15th century

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

Dimensions
4 3/8 in x 3 in (11.11 cm x 7.62 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Professor Walter M. and Nesta R. Spink for the James Marshall Plumer Memorial Collection

Label copy
The Kalpasutra, which recounts the lives of the jinas, is a popular text of the Shvetambara sect of Jainism. Commissioning illuminated manuscripts was one way for a Jaina layperson to accrue religious merit, and Shvetambara temple libraries house many copies of manuscripts, embellished with exquisite paintings done in expensive pigments.
This is the second folio of the Kalpasutra, and the enthroned figure seen here would have faced a depiction of a Jina. Variously read as Mahavira dressed as a monk or as Gautama, his chief disciple, the figure is surrounded by devotees and auspicious symbols. Although Shvetambara monks normally wear white garments, in early manuscripts the robes of the jinas and their disciples are often depicted with dotted or striped patterns. The overall richness of the image, including the lavish use of gold, testifies to the wealth of the donor.
Exhibited in "Divine Encounters, Earthly Pleasures: Twenty Centuries of Indian Art," 12/12/03-2/22/04.

Subject matter
The Kalpasutra, which recounts the lives of the jinas, is a popular text of the Shvetambara sect of Jainism. Commissioning illuminated manuscripts was one way for a Jaina layperson to accrue religious merit, and Shvetambara temple libraries house many copies of manuscripts, embellished with exquisite paintings done in expensive pigments.

Physical Description
Leaf from a Kalpasutra manuscript with calligraphic text. Font size varies, and in the center of the leaf text wraps around a blank box of parchment with a red dot in the center. To the left of this main text block is a colorful illustration of an enthroned figure in a dotted robe flanked by devotees. Surrounding him are various auspicious symbols.

Primary Object Classification
Unbound Work

Primary Object Type
leaf

Additional Object Classification(s)
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
calligraphy
calligraphy (process)
manuscripts
manuscripts (document genre)
monks

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display