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Bronze Jain Shrine of a Jina Group
Gujarat, Western India
10th century

height (without stand): 13.8cm, height (with stand): 17cm, width: 12.5cm

This beautiful bronze altarpiece is of a three Jina shrine (trithirta). It is similar to one in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see here) in terms of its composition and
age. It comprises a central enthroned jina seated in
padmasana, with two jinas on each side standing in kayotsarga. In turn, these are flanked by two fly-whisk
yielding
yakshas.

Two devotees seated on the lower part of the throne on either side of the group might be the
yakshis Gomedha and Ambika, the attendant deities associated
with Neminatha, the  22nd Tirthankara. This suggests that the central jina figure might be Neminatha.

The nine planets (
navagraha) are represented at the front of the plinth cast in a single line.

Portable images such as this example typically were commissioned by the Jain laity for presentation to their temples (Pal, 1995, p. 148).

This piece has obvious age and ritual-wear losses to its extremities. What remains is stable and has an exceptional chocolate patina. It rests on a
well-constructed custom-made stand. Overall, it has much sculptural appeal.

References:
Pal, P., The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India, Thames & Hudson/Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1995.

Provenance:  UK art market

Inventory no.: 2909

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Click here to see more Indian bronzes.
Images of Jinas at the Sravanabelgola complex in Karnataka, India
photographed in January 2015.