Oct 26, 2012
Oct 26, 2012

Jain Ascetic Walking Along a Riverbank

Jain Ascetic Walking Along a Riverbank

c. 1600


(Indian, active c. 1560–1600)

Mughal India, court of Akbar

(reigned 1556–1605)

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Painting: 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.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Collection 1967.244


Did you know?

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


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 basic accouterments: whisk broom, staff, and pot.

This sensitively painted portrait was made for the collection of the Mughal emperor Akbar who 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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