May 25, 2016

Shvetambara Jain Teacher Giving Instruction

Shvetambara Jain Teacher Giving Instruction

c. 1750–60

possibly by Sahib Ram

(Indian, active 1745–1803)

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Page: 20 x 27.9 cm (7 7/8 x 11 in.)

Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection; Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2018.171


Did you know?

The monks seated next to the teacher place their whisk-brooms before them.


A manuscript lies on a low table in front of the preacher, who holds one hand up in the gesture of discourse, and the other holds a cloth to shield his mouth from insects. The audience of laypeople includes men gathered near the front of the composition, and women in a group toward the back.

The preacher and the white-clad figures behind him are Jain householder monks, permitted to grow hair and moustaches and to wear a colored shawl that indicates higher status. Householder monks in Rajasthan often served as scribes and maintained manuscript libraries.

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