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Open Access

Seated Tirthankara

Artist: Unknown Indian Artist Primary
19th century
Dimensions: 19.5 x 15 x 8 in. (49.53 x 38.1 x 20.32 cm)
Object Type: Statue
Creation Place: Asia, India, Gujarat
Medium and Support: Marble with black, gold and blue painted details
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Erna Manderman
Accession Number: 2018.03.01
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

Although this seated figure might appear at first glance to be a depiction of Buddha, it instead represents a similar figure from the Jain religion – a Jina, or one who is victorious over death and has received spiritual knowledge. The religious ideal of Jainism, these figures are also known as Tirthankara, or “Ford Crosser,” meaning one who has crossed beyond death. Jains recognize twenty-four Tirthankaras, the last of which lived at about the same time as the Buddha and was part of the same intellectual-spiritual milieu that gave rise to Buddhism.

Adapted from Mary Beth Heston, Asia Network Consultancy


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Sculpture in the round, usually but not always depicting humans, animals, mythical beings, or small figure groups. Statues are relatively large in scale, being life-size, larger than life-size, or only slightly smaller than life-size. For small-scale representations of humans, animals, or mythical beings, use "figurines," "statuettes," or another appropriate term. For depictions of humans, animals, or mythical beings in media other than sculpture, use "figures (representations)."
devotional images
Images, either two-dimensional pictures or three-dimensional, used in private piety or other religious purposes in a place of worship or home, intended as recipients of prayer or aids to meditation; distinct from images that serve the liturgy or are primarily didactic.
public domain
Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government. Also, the status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
Belief systems that encompass various personal and institutional relationships between human beings and what they regard as holy, sacred, or divine, usually but not always a deity, or a spiritual or occult force. Participation in a religion is typically manifested in obedience, reverence, and worship, often including group activities and alliance with a leader. Elements of a religion or similar belief system include doctrine, ritual, defined parameters of morality, and a code of living, often seen as a means of achieving spiritual or material improvement.
A metamorphic, hard, dense, crystalline stone primarily composed of calcium carbonate; it is limestone or dolomite that has been metamorphosed with heat and pressure. Pure calcite marble is white, but impurities produce a wide variety of coloring and patterns. It is finely grained and polishes to a smooth, high gloss. It is used primarily for statuary and buildings. Marble has been quarried from sites around the world since at least the 7th century BCE. The term can also refer more broadly to any crystallized carbonate rock, including true marble and certain types of limestone, that will take a polish and can be used for architectural and ornamental purposes.
Use with reference to sculpture, architectural decoration, ceramics, and various ancient artifacts that have been decorated with more than one color. For the process of so decorating, use "polychromy."

Portfolio List

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