Temple hanging


Not on view

This is one of three known sections of what was an exceptionally large temple hanging. When hung in a shrine this intricately painted cloth, decorated with a geometric array of medallions featuring winged celestials, would have had the visual effect of a grand painted interior. The larger medallions each show eight winged celestials, alternating male and female, encircling a single winged celebrant in the center, whilst the smaller medallions hold a single winged celestial. The spaces reserved by the medallions are filled with further winged celebrants, creating a lattice pattern. It is likely that the original hanging was commissioned for use by peripatetic merchants to create temporary places of worship. The designs have a striking similarity to western Indian wood carved interiors of Jain temples, such as seen Gujarat, and yet the technology and the defining detail of the painted motifs point firmly to having been produced on the Coromandel Coast of southeastern India. A Jain merchant family operating in the Deccan probably provided the impetus for the commissioning of this textile.

No image available

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.