Jain shrine of Parshvanatha

Historical period(s)
Copper alloy
H x W x D: 29.5 x 19.1 x 9.2 cm (11 5/8 x 7 1/2 x 3 5/8 in)
India, Khajuraho region, Madhya Pradesh state
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 02: Body Image: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent
Metalwork, Sculpture


flower, India, Parshvanatha, Robert Hatfield Ellsworth collection, shrine
Provenance research underway.

Jainism is a religion that was promulgated by Mahavira, an elder contemporary of the Buddha. While similar in many ways to Buddhism, the Jain faith lays greater stress on austerity and self-denial. Mahavira is known as a jina, meaning victor, and Jains believe he is the last in a line of twenty-four. This altarpiece features the entire group of spiritual leaders, some seated and others standing around a central jina--perhaps Neminatha, whose emblem is the conch shell.  Wealthy Jains built temples; others commissioned bronze altar pieces such as this one, for donation to temples or home use. An inscription on the reverse states that this piece was dedicated in the year 1097 by a devotee named Sri Prasannachandra.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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