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The Interpreters of the Fourteen Dreams of Queen Trishala

Artist/maker unknown, Indian
Jain devotees commissioned sumptuous copies of illustrated sacred texts and donated them to monastic libraries to accrue spiritual merit. Since more costly manuscripts accrued greater merit for the donor, Jain illustrations abound with gold and the rich blue made from ground lapis lazuli. Even after paper came into general use, Jain manuscripts long retained characteristics of the palm leaf books sanctified by tradition. These include the long, horizontal page format, as well as the continuous text interrupted with occasional images of key scenes. The artists even repeated the central red dot, although the paper pages were no longer pierced and bound by strings, but loosely stacked together. The priestly astrologers shown here are reciting from and writing on long scrolls rather than horizontal manuscripts.

Object Details

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