On Saturday, March 8, the BMA welcomed Robert J. Del Bontà, Ph.D., who led the discussion Illustrating Victorious Lives: Jaina Narrative Painting. Dr. Del Bontà examined the illustrated manuscripts that detail the lives of the Jainas, through the lens of the Svetambara and Digambara. Seeing these illustrated narratives side by side was both rare and informative, and it was the first lecture on this topic held at the BMA.
Dr. Del Bontà has taught courses at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and curated many shows there and elsewhere. He has written on a wide range of subjects, but his major interest is Jaina art. Since 2006, he has worked with the Centre of Jaina Studies at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.
Play the lecture below to learn about these fascinating works, which show how similar stories can be told differently through art.