This collection presents new research and evidence on Jaina paintings and illuminated manuscripts. It introduces the reader to so far unpublished palm leaf and paper manuscripts, miniature paintings, cosmological and large-scale pilgrimage banners on cloth, printed texts and maps. The documents come from private, museum and library collections in Europe, North America and India and are introduced by expert authors who are based at a number of international institutions.
Jaina texts are considered sacred and are therefore kept in religious libraries and temples, play an important role during festivals and are treated with the same reverence as statues. Because of their high value and religious significance, many have been elaborately decorated, leading to the development of a variety of rich Jaina painting styles.
In addition to paintings and innovative formats of representation, the contributions analyse the interaction between the spoken and written word, different modes of story-telling in paintings, the transformation of narratives into songs and performances and how manuscript culture merges all of these genres to bring stories to life.
Julia A. B. Hegewald is Professor of Oriental Art History and Head of the Department of Asian and Islamic Art History at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn. She has published widely on Jaina art and architecture and on South Asian history of art and architecture more generally.