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Celestial Performers: Folios from a Kalpasutra Manuscript

Date:
ca. 1490
Culture:
India (Gujarat)
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Overall: 4 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (11.4 x 29.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 1985
Accession Number:
1985.398.9
  • Description

    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. On the lower folio a male dancer accompanies the female dancers. These scenes are echoed in the textual descriptions of the Kalpasutra celebrating the jina Mahavira. The manuscript displays innovative use of red, blue, and green marginal designs that anticipate sixteenth-century styles and a lavish use of gold script on a red ground.

37837

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