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]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selections for the Opening of The Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries," 1994.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Indian Paintings," 1994–95.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Peaceful Conquerors: Jain Manuscript Painting," September 10, 2009–March 28, 2010.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Lyrical Visions: Paintings from North India," December 3, 2011–May 28, 2011.