Gum tempera on paper, varnished
Overall: 57.8 x 48.3 cm (22 3/4 x 19 in.)
Gift of Dr. Obeysekera Ukwattage 1949.152
Text and Image in Southern Asia (Indian Painting and Himalayan rotation)
In many Sri Lankan images, the Buddha has a "flame of enlightenment" at the crown of the head.
Emphasized by rows of stylized flames and a flame at the crown of his head, the Buddha is honored by his followers, including multiheaded Hindu gods. The earth goddess and a devoted serpent appear below.
Despite its poor condition, this devotional painting retains the colors of the wall paintings inside the monuments where manuscripts were kept. When displayed on altars or stored in monastic libraries, manuscripts would be in an environment surrounded by images of monks, gods, and especially the Buddha.
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