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Cosmological painting

Cosmological painting

  • Place of origin:

    Deshnok (made)

  • Date:

    1844 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painting on cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Cosmological painting showing concentric continents separated by sea, with script and figures. Substantial sections missing especially in centre and corners.

Place of Origin

Deshnok (made)


1844 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Painting on cotton

Marks and inscriptions

Numerous inscriptions in Rajasthani, Devanagari script, including the date 1844, the city Deshnok (near Bikaner, Rajasthan) and the branch of Jain monks among whom it was produced.


Height: 153 cm, Width: 144.5 cm

Object history note

Transferred to the South Kensington Museum from the India Museum in 1879

Descriptive line

Adhaidvipa, Jain cosmological painting showing two and half continents separated by oceans and enclosed by a mountain range; Deshnok, Rajasthan, 1844

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Barnard, N. and Wheeler, M. 'Jain Manuscript Pages and Paintings Display at the V&A. 14 May 2010 to 31 December 2012', Jaina Studies: Newsletter of the Centre of Jaina Studies, Issue 6, March 2011, pp. 48-50.
p. 103, no. 19
Barnard, Nick, Arts of Asia, Vol. no. 46, no 1, "The Jain Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum". January-February 2016
p. 86, pl. 4.1
Jaina painting and manuscript culture : in memory of Paolo Pianarosa / [edited by] Julia A.B. Hegewald. Number: 9783868931747 (hd.bd.), 3868931740 (hd.bd.)

Labels and date


Painting on cotton
Deshnok, Rajasthan, dated 1844


In the Jain conception of the universe, between the heavens above and hells below is the
middle world where mortals dwell, the only part of the universe from which the soul can
achieve liberation. Humans inhabit two and a half continents, separated by oceans and
concentrically arranged around Mount Meru, as far as a chain of mountains on the outer
continent. The central disc is Jambudvipa, the continent of the rose-apple tree. [14/05/2010]

Subjects depicted

Oceans; Cities; World


Jain; Paintings; Jain; Religion; India Museum


South & South East Asia Collection

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