2909

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Bronze Jain Shrine of a Jina Group

Gujarat, Western India
10th century

height (without stand): 13.8cm, height (with stand): 17cm, width: 12.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

This beautiful bronze altarpiece is of a three Jina shrine (trithirta). It is similar to one in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see here) in terms of its composition and age. It comprises a central enthroned jina seated in padmasana, with two jinas on each side standing in kayotsarga. In turn, these are flanked by two fly-whisk yielding yakshas.

Two devotees seated on the lower part of the throne on either side of the group might be the yakshis Gomedha and Ambika, the attendant deities associated with Neminatha, the 22nd Tirthankara. This suggests that the central jina figure might be Neminatha.

The nine planets (navagraha) are represented at the front of the plinth cast in a single line.

Portable images such as this example typically were commissioned by the Jain laity for presentation to their temples (Pal, 1995, p. 148).

This piece has obvious age and ritual-wear losses to its extremities. What remains is stable and has an exceptional chocolate patina. It rests on a well-constructed custom-made stand. Overall, it has much sculptural appeal.

 

Images of Jinas at the Sravanabelgola complex in Karnataka, India – photographed in January 2015.

References

Pal, P., The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India, Thames & Hudson/Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1995.

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