Celestial Performers: Folios from a Kalpasutra Manuscript
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
Overall: 4 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (11.4 x 29.2 cm)
Purchase, Margery and Harry Kahn Gift, 1977
Not on view
In Jain cosmology, Shakra’s heaven is a blissful place where the jinas reside for eternity. It is populated by celestial dancers, seen here as beautiful maidens sensuously poised in the text margins. These scenes are echoed in the textual descriptions of the Kalpasutra celebrating Mahavira. The manuscript displays an innovative use of red, blue, and green marginal designs that anticipates sixteenth-century styles and lavish gold script on a red ground.
[ Doris Wiener Gallery , New York, by 1977; sold to MMA]