Devananda's Fourteen Auspicious Dreams Foretelling the Birth of Mahavira: Folio from a Kalpasutra Manuscript

Artist: Master of the Jaunpur Kalpasutra (Indian)

Date: ca. 1465

Culture: India, (Gujarat, Jaunpur)

Medium: Opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions: Overall: 4 5/8 x 11 1/2 in. (11.8 x 29.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Cynthia Hazen Polsky Gift, 1992

Accession Number: 1992.359


This page is not entirely characteristic of Jain painting: the illumination is larger, the range of color wider, and the ornamentation more elaborate than usual. The work's provenance is Jaunpur in Central India, not Gujarat in western India, the primary Jain center. Nevertheless, the patterned surface made up of flat unmodeled forms outlined with wiry black lines, the use of mainly primary colors, the stylized facial type in which the far eye projects beyond the profile (a device derived from earlier painting styles), and the elaborate borders with scrolling foliate designs convey the essence of Jain style. It is one of the most important indigenous (pre-Mughal) Indian painting traditions to survive.