Oct 26, 2012
Oct 26, 2012

Jain Ascetic Walking Along a Riverbank

Jain Ascetic Walking Along a Riverbank

c. 1600

Basavana

(Indian, active c. 1560–1600)

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Image: 14.7 x 9.8 cm (5 13/16 x 3 7/8 in.); Overall: 38.8 x 26.3 cm (15 1/4 x 10 3/8 in.); with mat: 49 x 36.3 cm (19 5/16 x 14 5/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Collection 1967.244

Location

Did you know?

He carries a book and a fly whisk tucked under his left arm.

Description

Alluding to his wisdom, this white-clad Jain monk carries a manuscript under his left arm, bound with a red cover. Otherwise he carries a Jain monk’s asic accouterments: whisk broom, staff, and pot.

This sensitively painted portrait was made for the collection of the Mughal emperor Akbar. Akbar was curious about the tenets of Jainism. He admired the explanations of the Jain monks who regularly attended the emperor’s weekly discussion sessions among members of different religious groups.

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