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Fragment of the arch of a sculptured Jain torana (reverse side), from Mathura

Fragment of the arch of a sculptured Jain torana (reverse side), from Mathura

Photographer: Smith, Edmund William

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1890

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(853)

Item number: 1003853

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a fragment of the arch of a sculptured Jain torana taken by Vincent A.Smith in the 1880s or 1890s. A torana is a ceremonial gateway leading to a stupa. Mathura has extensive archaeological remains as it was a large and important city from the middle of the first millennium onwards. It rose to particular prominence under the Kushans as the town was their southern capital. The Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jain faiths all thrived at Mathura, and we find deities and motifs from all three and others represented in sculpture at the site. Vincent A. Smith wrote, ''There is nothing in the sculptures of this torana to indicate whether the ceremony depicted was Jain or Buddhist; but the fact that the slabs were found not far from the present temple of Kankali and close to many Jain remains indicates that Jain ceremonies were the subject of the composition.'' The piece is now in the Lucknow Museum.

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