Celestial Performers: Folios from a Kalpasutra Manuscript
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Overall: 4 1/2 x 11 1/2 in. (11.4 x 29.2 cm)
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 1985
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. 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.
Cynthia Hazen Polsky , New York (until 1985; donated to MMA)
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.