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Head of a Jina

This massive head belonged to a colossal statue representing one of the twenty-four saviors of the Jain religion. He is a Jina, or conqueror, who succeeds in escaping the cycle of endlessly repeated lives and thereafter guides others to the same “river crossing.” In Jainism, as in Buddhism, such great ascetics appear at intervals in each world age. The elongated ear lobes, arched brows, and petal-shaped eyes, which are also found in Buddhist sculpture, are conventional signs of a great leader.


(Ben Heller, Inc., New York);

acquired by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1968, gift of Ben Heller.