, Jain marriage contract; picture scroll [vijnaptipatra] Enlarge 1 /1
Surat, Gujarat, India

Jain marriage contract
picture scroll [vijnaptipatra]
1715 Creation Notes: samvat 1772
Materials & Technique: paintings, manuscripts, opaque pigments, ink, gold and silver on paper [wasli]
Dimensions: 278.0 h x 26.8 w cm each 47.0 h x 26.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2009
Accession No: NGA 2009.180

This marriage contract was created by Svetambara [white-clad] Jains. Framed by a floral border, it begins with auspicious symbols and animals, including the swastika and related nandavarta sacred diagram, both symbolising the cycle of existence and higher meditation. Another register reveals a holy pitcher [kalasha] with two divine eyes – a sign of abundance. Below are the bridal couple’s families listening to a monk reciting from a manuscript. The text, in Gujarati, records a list of names, probably the wedding attendees.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label