Skip to content

Collection

An image of The Levels of Hell by
Alternate image of The Levels of Hell by Alternate image of The Levels of Hell by

Rajasthan, India

Title
The Levels of Hell
Place of origin
RajasthanIndia
Year
early 19th century
Media categories
Book, Painting
Materials used
concertina album, gouache on paper; 62 folios comprising 58 full page illustrations in red, blue, green, yellow, black and white + 4 fly leaves, Prakrit in black Devanagari script; bound in beige canvas cover with scalloped flap and tie
Dimensions

16.0 x 30.5 cm:

a - pencilled script; leaf a; leaf a verso

b - script; leaf b blank: leaf b verso script

c - painting; leaf c script; leaf c verso painting

d - script; leaf d; leaf d verso

e - painting; leaf e; leaf e verso

f - script; leaf f; leaf f verso

g - painting; leaf g; leaf g verso

h - script; leaf h; leaf h verso

i - painting; leaf i; leaf i verso

j - script; leaf j; leaf j verso

k - painting; leaf k; leaf k verso

l - script; leaf l; leaf l verso

m - painting; leaf m; leaf m verso

n - script; leaf n; leaf n verso

o - painting; leaf o; leaf o verso

p - script; leaf p; leaf p verso

q - painting; leaf q; leaf q verso

r - script; leaf r; leaf r verso

s - painting; leaf s; leaf s verso

t - script; leaf t; leaf t verso

u - painting; leaf u; leaf u verso

v - script; leaf v; leaf v verso

w - painting; leaf w; leaf w verso

x - script; leaf x; leaf x verso

y - painting; leaf y; leaf y verso

z - Part z; leaf z; leaf z verso

aa - painting; leaf aa; leaf aa verso

bb - script; leaf bb; leaf bb verso

cc - painting; leaf cc; leaf cc verso

dd - painting; leaf dd; leaf dd verso

ee - painting; leaf ee; leaf ee verso

ff - script; leaf ff; leaf ff verso

gg - painting; leaf gg; leaf gg verso

hh - script; leaf hh; leaf hh verso

ii - painting; leaf ii; leaf ii verso

jj - script; leaf jj; leaf jj verso

kk - painting; leaf kk; leaf kk verso

ll - script; leaf ll; leaf ll verso

mm - painting; leaf mm; leaf mm verso

nn - script; leaf nn; leaf nn verso

oo - painting; leaf oo; leaf oo verso

pp - script; leaf pp; leaf pp verso

qq - painting; leaf qq; leaf qq verso

rr - script; leaf rr; leaf rr verso

ss - painting; leaf ss; leaf ss verso

tt - script; leaf tt; leaf tt verso

uu - painting; leaf uu; leaf uu verso

vv - script; leaf vv; leaf vv verso

ww - painting; leaf ww; leaf ww verso

xx - script; leaf xx; leaf xx verso

yy - painting; leaf yy; leaf yy verso

zz - script; leaf zz; leaf zz verso

aaa - painting; leaf aaa; leaf aaa verso

bbb - script; leaf bbb; leaf bb verso

ccc - painting; leaf ccc; leaf ccc verso

ddd - script; leaf ddd; leaf ddd verso

eee - painting; leaf eee; leaf eee verso

fff - script; leaf fff; leaf fff verso

ggg - painting; leaf ggg; leaf ggg verso

hhh - script; leaf hhh; leaf hhh verso

iii - painting; leaf iii; leaf iii verso

jjj - script; leaf jjj; leaf jjj verso

kkk - script; leaf kkk; leaf kkk verso blank

Credit
Purchased 2008
Accession number
178.2008.a-kkk
Location
Not on display
Further information

The Jain religion, together with Hinduism and Buddhism one of the main religions of India, inspired a rich pantheon of imagery relating to its beliefs.Though depictions of the various torments to be endured in the Jain hells were frequently depicted in manuscripts, these leaves are unusually large and colourful. They appear to have once belonged to a Khetrasamaasa, a Jain cosmological text. In Jain cosmology, seven hells are located one on top of another at the very bottom of the universe, and are progressively awful in order of descent in the punishments meted out there. The hells are inhabited by the Paramadharmika, the 'extremely unjust' gods, who vie with each other in devising cruel punishments for those unlucky enough to be reborn there. Among those featured here are the fate of being sawn in two while being pecked by crows, being swallowed by a giant snake, and being shot by arrows and rifles simultaneously. The robust drawings are appealing in their energy and conviction.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, June 2008.

Bibliography (1)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2007-08, Sydney, 2008, 68 (colour illus.).