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Kalpasutra
Title Kalpasutra
Museum Name Indian Museum, Kolkata
Gallery Name N.A.
Object Type Decorative Art
Main Material Gouache on paper
Country Western India
Provenance Western India
School Western India
Period / Year of Work C.17th Century A.D.
Dimensions L.26 cm, B.11 cm
Brief Description The Illustrated folio from Kalpasutra shows Tirthankara seated with apsaras. Kalpasutra deals with Panchkalyanakas, the five most auspicious events in the life of a Tirthankara- birth, lustration, renunciation, enlightenment and nirvana - salvation. Among the earliest surviving illustrated paper manuscripts in India are a copies of the jain manuscripts of the Kalpasutra or book of Ritual. The Kalpasutra is a canonical text of the Shvetambara white clad Jains written by Acharya Bhadrabahu in the 4th cent. B.E. It is the biographical account of Mahavira and other Tirthankaras or spiritual teachers of the Jainas, generally read and recited by devotees during their ten days of fasting known in Rajasthan in the month of Bhadrapada,(August and Sept.) The style of illustration is characterized by rigid and exaggerated sharpness and the use of monochromatic colours particularly lapis lazuli blue, gold, black and white. Jain patrons of the 15th century preferred very opulent illustrations richly painted in gold. A particularly stylistic feature is the eye that protrudes from the face in the three quarter profile.