atlas, cartographic image, Maps, Manuscript maps., World maps., Pictorial maps., Manuscript maps, World maps, Pictorial maps, Jainism, Cosmology, and Jainism
1 map : gouache on fabric ; 80 x 80 cm
Place of publication not identified :
Date (no approx):
atlas, cartographic image, Maps, Manuscript maps., World maps., and Pictorial maps.
Date estimated. From a description of a similar Jain painting at the Johnson Museum at Cornell University: "This large painting consists of a map-like rendering of the middle world, one of three worlds that comprise the Jain universe. Located between the celestial realm and the lower world of the damned, this middle world is where mortals and all sentient beings live and is the place from which liberation becomes possible. The composition takes the form of a series of concentric circles representing continents and oceans. In the center lies the continent of Jambudvipa, location of India and Mount Meru, surrounded by two oceans and two-and-a-half more continents. The oceans are filled with various aquatic creatures, while the continents contain humans, animals, rivers, and land features, including the five cosmic mountains, shown along the horizontal axis of the painting as yellow disks with pairs of multicolored, arch-like forms. Enshrined Jinas occupy the vertical axis of the continents and also appear in the four corners of the painting." (see http://museum.cornel l.edu/collections/as ian-pacific/south-as ia/jain-cosmological -diagram-world-morta ls). Our Jain map is similar, it also depicts Jambudvipa with the region of Mahavideha, bounded north and south by mountain ranges with Mount Meru at its center and "elephant tusk" shaped mountains encompassing the regions of Uttarakuru to the north and Devakuru to the south. At the lower part of the map is the bow-shaped region of Bharata, representing India itself.
David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford University Libraries
[Cosmological Diagram - The World of Mortals], [Jain Culture], 1850
Hand painted, this cosmological map takes the form of concentric circles showing the three worlds that make up the Jain universe: the outer celestial realm, the middle world of living beings, and the lower world of the damned. According to literature about this diagram, the figure at the center represents a man with his hands up and legs outstretched. Modern day Jainism was shaped by Mahavira around 500 BC, near Patna in present-day Bihar State, India. Jains believe that everything has life, including inanimate objects such as stones.
Monialium Ebstorfensium mappa mundi : quae exeunte saeculo XIII. videtur picta, Hannoverae nunc adservatur, edidit Conradus Miller.
This map is a reproduction of the famous Ebstorf map which was destroyed in 1943. This large, circular "mappa mundi," by Gervase of Ebstorf is one of the most famous 13th Century historic maps of the world. With common medieval manuscript symbols and the medieval forms of place names, it reflects the contemporary religious ideas of the medieval map maker and represents cosmography and not cartography, which teaches the constitution of the whole order of nature, or the figure, disposition, and relation of all its parts. It visually portrays the Greek concept of the earth as flat and circular, popularized by the addition of Christian dogma. The original map, discovered in the Benedictine convent of Ebstorf, Germany in 1830, dates from around the thirteenth century. The Map is centered on Jerusalem, depicted with gold, showing the eight-sided medieval wall, the Tower of Babel, Bethlehem, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Mt. Sinai. Christ’s head is represented in the East, at the top of the map, the direction of Paradise. His hands mark the northern and southern limits of the known world, and his feet are at Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic. Europe is in the bottom left, Africa in the bottom right, and Asia at the upper half. In the East, near Christ’s head is located the Garden of Eden surrounded by mountains, the two figures bent to gather silk. Alexander the Great is consulting the Oracle of the Sun and the Moon. The map is surrounded by water and depicts significant landmarks highlighted by gold. Towns are shown by towers, wildlife, rivers, mountains are shown pictorially as well as points of interest for the curious pilgrim. Also shown are the symbols for the four great rivers, the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, and Ganges.
Gervase of Ebstorf; Miller, Conrad
Monialium Ebstorfensium mappa mundi : quae exeunte saeculo XIII. videtur picta, Hannoverae nunc adservatur, edidit Conradus Miller, Gervase of Ebstorf; Miller, Conrad, 1898