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Overall: 160.7 x 67 cm (63 1/4 x 26 3/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1961.419


Parshva is the 23rd of the 24 Jinas who achieved liberation. He is the only one who is depicted with a serpent. This sculpture was made for followers of the branch of Jainism called Digambara, who enforce the regulations of total nudity among those actively seeking liberation. The only adornment of his figure is the auspicious symbol on his chest and the wheels of righteousness on his palms. The stark form of thenude body standing in a posture of meditation is masterfully set off from the array of gods and serpent divinities who venerate him. He stands with his feet on a lotus pedestal, but his hierarchically tall form reaches to the heavens, where gods fly to honor him with flower garlands. Three umbrellas over his head indicate his status as a liberated being worthy of worship.

See also
Indian Art
Type of artwork: 

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