King Siddharta Listens to an Astrologer Forecast the Conception and Birth of His Son, the Jina Mahavira: Folio from a Kalpasutra Manuscript

Date: late 14th century

Culture: India (Gujarat)

Medium: Opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions: 3 3/8 x 13 13/16 in. (8.6 x 35.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Friends of Asian Art, Evelyn Kranes Kossak Gift, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.133

Description

The story of Mahavira as recounted by Hemachandra tells of the jina's father, King Siddhartha, summoning astrologers to his court to interpret Queen Trisala's dreams of a future son. They foretell that their son will be either a universal ruler (chakravartin) or a universal religious savoir, a jina. The dynamic and engaging scene shows a masterful control of form-defining line and a sensitive use of gesture. Both figures wear finely embroidered translucent muslins and are sheltered by honorific umbrellas.

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