India, Gujārat
Circa 16th century
H. 20 cm



In the Jain religion, similar devotional plaques (caturvi śati-patta), placed on altars, make it possible to pray in the home, but they can also be offered up as ex-votos.


In the center of the composition is Mahavira, the jina (tirtha kara) of our cosmic period, the most recent of the twenty-four jina who followed one another down through the ages.  He is represented seated, meditating, his hands in his lap.  He is said to have lived in the 6th or 5th century B.C.E. and preached the founding principles of the Jain religion.  In between is a small stylized chapel containing an image of the goddess Lakshmi, as frequently occurs on this type of object.


On the border are several tirtha kara, standing or seated, totally naked as tradition requires.

A lengthy inscription on the back, in the Gujarati language, but unfortunately corroded, probably indicated the date of consecration.

Provenance: Private collection, Paris, since 1989.