King Siddharta Listens to an Astrologer Forecast the Conception and Birth of His Son, the Jina Mahavira: Folio from a Kalpasutra Manuscript
late 14th century
Opaque watercolor on paper
3 3/8 x 13 13/16 in. (8.6 x 35.1 cm)
Purchase, Friends of Asian Art, Evelyn Kranes Kossak Gift, 1997
Not on view
The story of Mahavira as recounted by Hemachandra tells of the jina's father, King Siddhartha, summoning astrologers to his court to interpret Queen Trisala's dreams of a future son. They foretell that their son will be either a universal ruler (chakravartin) or a universal religious savoir, a jina. The dynamic and engaging scene shows a masterful control of form-defining line and a sensitive use of gesture. Both figures wear finely embroidered translucent muslins and are sheltered by honorific umbrellas.