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African, Asian, and Islamic Art

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Seated Tirthankara


Artist: Unknown Indian Primary
19th century
Dimensions: 19.5 x 15 x 8 in. (49.53 x 38.1 x 20.32 cm)
Object Type: Sculpture
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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