Jain Ascetic Walking Along a Riverbank

c. 1600
(Indian, active c. 1560–1600)
Painting: 14.7 x 9.8 cm (5 13/16 x 3 7/8 in.); Overall: 38.8 x 26.3 cm (15 1/4 x 10 3/8 in.)
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Location: not on view

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He carries a book and a fly whisk tucked under his left arm.

Description

Alluding to his wisdom, this white-clad Jain monk carries a manuscript under his left arm, bound with a red cover. Otherwise he carries a Jain monk’s basic accouterments: whisk broom, staff, and pot.

This sensitively painted portrait was made for the collection of the Mughal emperor Akbar who was curious about the tenets of Jainism. He admired the explanations of the Jain monks who regularly attended the emperor’s weekly discussion sessions among members of different religious groups.
Jain Ascetic Walking Along a Riverbank

Jain Ascetic Walking Along a Riverbank

c. 1600

Basavana

(Indian, active c. 1560–1600)
Mughal India, court of Akbar (reigned 1556–1605)

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