Jina Parshvanatha and Attendants (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

8th-9th century
copper alloy with silver inlays and traces of gilding
Gujarat or Southern Rajasthan, India
Overall: 9 3/8 × 10 1/2 × 4 in. (23.81 × 26.67 × 10.16 cm)
The central figure in this elaborate composition is Parshvanatha, one of Jainism's twenty-four perfected beings known as Jinas or Tirthankaras. Seated in meditation on a throne, he is shielded by a canopy of seven cobra hoods (some now broken) and flanked by two standing Tirthankaras, probably Rishabhanatha and Mahavira. Underneath them, sitting on an elephant and a lion, are the male Yaksha Sarvanubhuti and the female Yakshi Ambika. Below these semi-divine attendants are eight heads, emblems of the planets. All the figures are worn from frequent ritual touching during worship. An inscription on the back records the name of woman who donated this altarpiece to a temple in the hope of acquiring religious merit.
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Gift of Paul Mellon
Dye, Joseph M. The Arts of India: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. London: Philipp Wilson, 2001. (cat. no. 50, pp. 150-151)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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