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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Twelve tirthankaras

Twelve tirthankaras

12th century

This Jain relief panel depicts 12 tirthankaras who are virtually identical except for their poses. A tirthankara-"He who has made the ford''-is a teacher who has transcended the human condition and achieved enlightenment. They are worshipped as beings that have attained salvation and inspire those on a similar quest. In this example, each tirthankara is in their own niche within the architectural framework of the panel. Three are seated in a yogic position, while the rest are standing in the characteristic kayotsarga or "body abandoning'' pose. Their nudity and the fact that they are virtually identical to each other reinforce the concept of their spiritual purity and perfection. It also refers to their shared search for salvation.
28 x 11 3/4 x 5 1/4 in. (71.12 x 29.85 x 13.34 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryLos Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum, "Art Of Greater India" (1950)

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