This painting is a rare depiction of the Jina’s first preaching. It is said that the speech of the Jina is like no other and that miracles occur upon hearing it. Here the Jina is depicted with four heads, representing the miraculous ability to see from all four directions at once. The golden-hued Jina and the monk who venerate a Jina are nude, identifying them as belonging to the Digambara (sky-clad) sect of Jainism.
This is one of 18 folios of this Digambara Jain manuscript owned by the UMMA. Other pages from the same work are in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In the Jain religion, book production reflects the integral relationship among the laity, monastic community, and the Jina, or enlightened Jain teacher. The dedication of sacred books for shrines is required of devotees, while commissioning a book fulfills the lay obligation of charity, and beholding a book helps the individual achieve the proper mental state for spiritual guidance. It was customary for a lay donor to commission a copy of a text for presentation to his spiritual teacher and ultimately to the temple library. Over the centuries, monastic libraries received great quantities of texts, which were employed in the instruction of monks and nuns, themselves discouraged from practicing the art of painting: one text expressly warns of the power of painting to arouse sensual feelings.
An explosion of colorful forms suggests the human form in dynamic movement. Yellows and reds predominate in shapes that draw the eye toward the viewer's upper right where three roughy triangular yellow shapes suggest a head and upraised arms.
Severini's treatment of a dancer in motion conveys the harmony and dynamism of the figure's movements rendered in a highly abstracted form.
Several travellers are walking along the river. There are trees on both sides of the road. A big round moon is above the village houses in the distance. One the other side of the river is a lush forest.
Signed in pencil on tab: butterfly Inscribed in pencil, on verso, l.l. (in Whistler's hand): "Battersea Morn" - 1st - / Plate destroyed Signed on the plate, u.r.: butterfly Watermark: Arms of Amsterdam
A stretch of water in the foreground and middle ground leads to a horizontal distant shore that is composed of a series of horizontal stepped recessions. The buildings on the far shore appear to be industrial buildings, with many smokestacks. At the bottom of the image are some lightly drawn boats.
Whsitler's home in Chelsea afforded him with views such as this looking towards the commercial portions of Battersea, across the Thames. Whistler favored depicting the river at transitional times of day: dawn, dusk, nighttime because the reduced lighting suggested a poetic beauty, even of warehouses, that broad daylight did not. Here, at dawn, Whistler captures the moment when the shape and mass of objects just begins to coalesce and take on substance.
This broken fragment depicts a now headless goddess or yakshi standing with a much smaller male attendant. She wears a necklace, bracelets and a girdle consisting of three rows of small round shapes. She stands with her left hand at her waist and the right hand next to the head of her attendant. He wears a turban and large earrings and a belt of a single line of round shapes. They both wear diaphanous lower garments that make them appear nude with both of them with their genitals exposed. The fragment is broken above the male figure’s knees and below the yakshi’s knees.
Yakshi images, like mother goddesses, have a long history in Indian art. Yakshi are nature goddesses, associated with trees and fertility. In this charming terracotta, a yakshi is attended by the figure of a small male figure. Although the figures may appear to be naked, each actually is wearing a diaphanous garment from the waist down. The swelling volumes of the figures mimic the voluptuous forms found in the stone sculpture of the period. This small image was probably pressed into a mold, rather than modeled by hand.
Early terracotta sculptures such as those on view in the exhibition were once dismissed as “folk art,” but today they are given serious scholarly attention and eagerly collected on the international art market.
This miniature painting depicts a group of male figures gathered around a coffin draped with a blue cloth. Two pairs of candles set on tall candlesticks are placed at the head and foot of the coffin. To the left of the coffin stand four mourners wearing long gray robes with hoods. Facing them from the other side of the coffin are three tonsured clergymen dressed in white, who look at an open book placed before them. The group stands upon a green tiled floor next to a pink wall. The background is painted red and decorated with an exuberant pattern of gold scrolling foliage motifs.
This richly colored miniature painting was taken from a book of hours, a type of personal devotional manuscript that enjoyed widespread popularity from the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries and contained sets of daily prayers, or "offices." The painting depicts a funeral mass attended by hooded mourners and performed by three clergymen. The miniature prefaced the set of prayers known as the Office of the Dead that was recited as a preparation for death and afterwards for the departed soul.
This is a watercolor painting in a vertical format painted in bright colors of red, blue, yellow and green. In the foreground, there is a group of men working around the base of a tall pole from which hangs a large red flag or banner. Behind the men is a backdrop of red drapery and to the side, a wooden staircase. There are buildings in the background with yellowish brown walls and green roofs.
The subject of this street scene is unknown. Jean Paul Slusser was professor of drawing and painting at the University of Michigan and was appointed the first director of the Museum of Art in 1946.