Giant Demon Attacks a Ship

Historical period(s)
ca. 1775
School
Jain School
Medium
Opaque watercolor on plain-woven fabric support attached to a fabric covered panel.
Dimensions
H x W: 129.2 x 123.3 cm (50 7/8 x 48 9/16 in)
Geography
India, Gujarat state
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1999.22
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Painting

Keywords
boat, demon, fish, India, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

Private collector [1]

To 1999
Spink & Son Ltd., London, to 1999

From 1999
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Spink & Son Ltd. in 1999

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Note 3 in the object record.

Previous Owner(s)

Spink & Son Ltd.

Label

Popular tales and lively images played a role in transmitting beliefs and values to the Jain community. The Shripalarasa is a narrative that recounts the wondrous adventures of the Jain Prince Shripala, who travels to distant lands in search of trade and wealth. In this unusually large and vivacious painting, the artist represents the Prince's ship as a British vessel. The inscriptions scattered across the painting, which repetively identify parts of the ship, indicate a fascination with seafaring. The depiction of the Union Jack lends immediacy to a story that took place long before the British came to India.

Published References
  • Lincoln Paine. The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World. New York. .
  • Pratapaditya Pal. The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India. Exh. cat. New York and Los Angeles. cat. 120, pp. 256-257.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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