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The Levels of Hell

early 19th century


Unknown Artist

Alternate image of The Levels of Hell by
Alternate image of The Levels of Hell by
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Rajasthan India
    Cultural origin
    early 19th century
    Media categories
    Book , Painting
    Materials used
    gouache on paper; 62 leaves comprising 58 full page illustrations plus 4 fly leaves, Prakrit in black Devanagari script; bound in beige canvas cover with scalloped flap and tie
    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

    Purchased 2008
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

  • About

    The Jain religion, together with Hinduism and Buddhism, is one of the main religions of India and has 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 at the very bottom of the universe, one on top of another 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.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication