Figure of a Donor (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

12th-13th century
white marble
Gujarat, India
Overall: 47 3/4 × 19 × 10 1/2 in. (121.29 × 48.26 × 26.67 cm)
This sculpture was one of a pair that depicted donors to a Jain temple. This religious affiliation is confirmed by the small Jina or Tirthankara seated in yogic posture at the apex of the composition. Jain communities in western India patronized avast quantity of religious art. The region's white marble was the choice material for architectural and sculptural projects. The bearded donor holds an elaborate garland in his hands, probably meant as an offering to the temple's main image. Standing in an exaggerated triple-flexion pose, he wears a short skirt, necklaces, armlets, and a distinctive chain-like cord. The scarf draped around his arms falls in whimsical corkscrew patterns at his sides. Attendants stand in attitudes of respectnear his feet.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 52, pp. 154-155)

Khalil Rizk, The Chinese Porcelain Company: A Dealer’s Record, 1985-2000 (New York: The Chinese Porcelain Company, 2000) p. 21, color ill.

Pratapaditya Pal, The Peaceful Liberators Jain Art from India (Los Angeles County Museum of Art: 1994) pp. 51, 246, fig. 39, cat. no. 111.

“Shopping Around. The big picture on museum purchases,” Richmond Times Dispatch, Fri. Sept. 18, 1992, p. C2 color ill.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Jain Sculpture
VMFA in association with New Millienium Studios

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