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Gum tempera and ink on palm leaf
Overall: 4.7 x 35.6 cm (1 7/8 x 14 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1971.124
Before the use of paper, Indian books were written on palm leaves, bound by a string passed through the hole in the middle of the pages, which were turned horizontally. Often the paintings do not reference the story of the text because they may have functioned as adornments rather than illustrations. Virtuous scenes, such as a layman venerating a Jain monk, as seen on this page, were apparently thought to beautify a sacred text and made it more costly and visually appealing. By adding painted adornments, a donor can accrue greater religious merit.
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