Leaf from Illuminated Manuscript of the Jnaneshvari (Primary Title)
Sanjaya Tells His Blind Kings of the Battle (Recto Title)

Unknown (Artist)

1763
Indian
Manuscripts
Paintings
Works On Paper
opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
Deccan, Maharashtra, Nagpur, India
Sheet: 14 5/8 × 9 13/16 in. (37.15 × 24.92 cm)
Mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.64 cm)
91.9.7
Page "Illuminated Manuscript of the Jnaneshvari" (91.9.1-628)
The Jnaneshvari opens on the Kurukshetra battlefield, where two intermarried but feuding families—the Pandavas and the Kauravas—are preparing for war. Behind the battle lines, the blind Kaurava king, Dhritarashtra, asks his advisor, Sanjaya, to describe the confrontation. Sanjaya, who has the gift of observing events at a distance, relays to the old man everything he sees and hears, the Bhagavad Gita being this recitation. Dhritarashtra, blind and bearded, is shown seated on a throne. A servant cools him with a peacock-feather fan, and Sanjaya sits before him on a low chair telling the story. The Gita’s first verse, written in gold, and Jnanadeva’s commentary on it appear below them.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
"Picturing Philosophy," VMFA, November 21, 2001-February 24, 2002
B.N. Goswamy, "The Word is Sacred, Sacred is the Word: The Indian Manuscript Tradition," New Delhi: Niyogi Books, 2007, pp. 170-171.

Poster for Richmond's Festival of India, October 2006.

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