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A bronze figure of a Jina
A bronze figure of a Jina


A bronze figure of a Jina
South India, Karnataka or Tamilnadu, 10th/11th century
Standing in kayotsarga on a circular base over a stepped plinth, the torso sensitively and naturalistically modeled, the arms extended along the sides and the face with large almond-shaped eyes beneath incised brows, the metal with a golden bronze patina and partially effaced inscription along the front of the base
14¾ in. (37.5 cm.) high
Collection of a member of the diplomatic corps, Buenos Aires, 1964
Christie's New York, 23 March 2010, lot 166
Doris Wiener Gallery, New York, 2010

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Lot Essay

Jainism, one of India's great religions, was a reformist movement developed in reaction to brahmanical Hindu traditions and practices such as caste division and animal sacrifice. The 24th Jina, Mahavira, was an elder contemporary of the historical Buddha living between 599-527 BCE. Though often cited as the founder of the faith, Mahavira is considered a compiler of teachings and practices that existed for eons. The central tenet of Jainism is a strict adherence to the principles of non-violence (ahimsa) with followers taking extreme care not to harm any living creature. The Jina, having obtained complete liberation, is depicted naked ('sky-clad'), standing in the yogic meditation pose kayotsarga (body-abandonment), with elongated limbs demonstrating his superhuman character, expressing well-being and emphasizing the spiritual over the physical.

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