, Map of Jain sacred sites; pilgrimage painting [tirtha pata] Enlarge 1 /1
Gujarat, India

Map of Jain sacred sites
pilgrimage painting [tirtha pata]
early 19th century Materials & Technique: paintings, pigments and gold on wood
Dimensions: 200.0 h x 180.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2009
Accession No: NGA 2009.554.A-C
Subject: Map
  • The supplied chain of ownership for this object is being reviewed and further research is underway. The provenance information listed has been substantiated by documentation. Details may be refined and updated as research progresses. (added 2016)
  • with private collector, Canada, 1990 or before (details to be confirmed)
  • who sold it at a Christie's auction (lot 233), New York
  • to a private west coast collection, USA, 3 October 1990 (details to be confirmed)
  • who sold it at a Christie's auction (lot 359), New York
  • to art dealership Francesca Galloway Ltd., London, 21 March 2007
  • which sold it to the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, August 2009

Central to Jainism, which began in India in the 6th century BCE, are 24 enlightened beings known as Jinas. From the 14th century, visiting places of significance in the lives of the Jinas became a popular devotional act. A tradition of displaying maps of these sacred sites also developed, allowing viewers to obtain spiritual merit equivalent to that gained by the pilgrims.

The upper portion of this painting depicts the mountain temple complex of Shatrunjaya which is associated with the first Jina, Rishabhanatha. In the lower-right quadrant, identified by an enshrined image of the dark-skinned Jina Neminatha, is Mount Girnar where Neminatha achieved enlightenment. The painting presents the journey of a group of pilgrims in spotted robes visiting shrines and venerating Jina images as they ascend both mountain peaks.

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