Overview

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A painting of a lokapurusha
Property from the Collection of Paul F. Walter
A painting of a lokapurusha

INDIA, RAJASTHAN, BIKANER, CIRCA 1775

Details
A painting of a lokapurusha
India, Rajasthan, Bikaner, circa 1775
The cosmic man dressed in green and adorned with multiple jewelery, standing on a lotus, with eight rows of seated figures with assorted squares at his chest, the jambudvipa at his waist, and seven rows of animals and figures at his legs, the face with four temples on the cheeks, a crescent moon at the forehead and a winged peri bearing a fan at either side, flanked by pink flowers, all on a red background surrounded by a yellow border with a floral vine
Opaque pigments on textile
52 x 25 in. (132.1 x 63.5 cm.)
Literature
P. Pal, The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India, 1994, p. 82 and 231, cat. no. 103a.
Exhibited
The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 6 November 1994 - 22 January 1995; Kimbell Art Museum, 5 May - 28 March, 1995; New Orleans Museum of Art, 15 July - 17 September 1995; Victoria and Albert Museum, 2 November 1995 - 21 January 1996

Lot Essay

Lokapurushas depict the correlation between man and the universe by relating the cosmos to the proportions of the human figure. Divided into three parts, adholoka (lower world) is represented from below the navel to the base; madhyaloka (middle world) is reduced to just the jambudvipa and represented by a round disk at the waist; and urdhvaloka (upper world) is depicted by the torso, neck and head. The heavens and hell are further subdivided into multiple levels represented by multicolored squares to indicate where different deities, demons, animals and humans live.

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