Shalibhadra Performing Austerities: Folio from a Shalibhadra Manuscript

In the upper register, the Jain Shalibhadra, born to great wealth, and his wife present a manuscript to two Jain nuns (or perhaps “widows” of renunciants) seated beneath a decorated tree that has leafy branches in the form of creepers found in Malwa paintings. In the lower scene, which is set on a contrasting ground, they pull out their own hair—an act of renunciation (diksa) that is the first step to embarking on life as a monk or nun. The painting contains many early Rajput conventions in terms of the depiction of space and the color palette employed, while the figural type can be compared to Marwar production.

Ink and opaque watercolor on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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