Twenty Tirthankaras: Folio from a Kalpasutra Manuscript
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Overall: 4 3/8 x 10 5/8 in. (11.1 x 27 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955
Not on view
The Kalpasutra singles out for special mention four tirthankharas: the first, original jina, Rsabhanatha, and the last three, Neminatha, Parshvanatha, and Mahavira. They are given extensive biographies, especially Mahavira. The twenty in between are grouped together, as depicted serially here. Their biographical information is not provided, but the cosmic lapse of time between each of their appearances on earth is. They are shown seated in meditation, bejeweled, and framed by a pair of pendant red lotus buds, perhaps denoting their perfected being and siddha status.
[The Kevorkian Foundation , New York, by 1955; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Peaceful Conquerors: Jain Manuscript Painting," September 10, 2009–March 28, 2010.