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Opaque watercolor and ink on palm leaf
Overall: 5.6 x 33 cm (2 3/16 x 13 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1971.118.8.a
Palm leaf was the preferred material for sacred texts before the 1400s in India. The text here was often appended to the Kalpa-sutra, the most sacred book of Jainism. This story concerns the life of a Jain teacher named Kalaka, a prince who developed the ability to work magic after he become a monk, inspired by the teachings of a holy man.
The painting on this page shows a monk clad in white, indicating his affiliation with the Shvetambara (“white clad”) branch of Jainism. It is the second to the last page of the manuscript and includes the beginning of the colophon, which contains information about when and where this manuscript was produced.
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