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Holy Man Collection

In the vast tapestry of spirituality, holy men emerge as beacons of faith and wisdom, transcending borders and cultures

Background imageHoly Man Collection: A Priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church reads a very old

A Priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church reads a very old, beautifully illustrated bible beside the entrance to the rock-hewn church of Yohannes Maequddi

Background imageHoly Man Collection: A supposed Holy man dressed as Hanuman

A supposed Holy man dressed as Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, posing for photographs, Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal, Asia

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Sadhu (Holy man), India, Asia

Sadhu (Holy man), India, Asia

Background imageHoly Man Collection: 19th century Ethiopian Coptic Christian prayer book. Illustration showing two Magi or wise men

19th century Ethiopian Coptic Christian prayer book. Illustration showing two Magi or wise men. approx. 1870
5306075 19th century Ethiopian Coptic Christian prayer book. Illustration showing two Magi or wise men. approx. 1870; Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Various sects of Hindu priests or Brahmin with their religious paraphernalia at a river bank

Various sects of Hindu priests or Brahmin with their religious paraphernalia at a river bank
FLO4623603 Various sects of Hindu priests or Brahmin with their religious paraphernalia at a river bank. Identified as priests of Sceroteri, Canoge, Drauers, Brijbashi and Uriah

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Hindu Fakir or holy man in India; 19th century

Hindu Fakir or holy man in India; 19th century
3522579 Hindu Fakir or holy man in India; 19th century; (add.info.: Hindu Fakir or holy man in India; 19th century); Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageHoly Man Collection: 19th century Ethiopian Coptic Christian prayer book. Illustration showing a Magi or wise man

19th century Ethiopian Coptic Christian prayer book. Illustration showing a Magi or wise man approx. 1870
5306071 19th century Ethiopian Coptic Christian prayer book. Illustration showing a Magi or wise man approx. 1870; Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageHoly Man Collection: A holy man in India, 1828

A holy man in India, 1828
3480342 A holy man in India, 1828; (add.info.: French lithograph of a holy man in India, By Marlet 1828.); Universal History Archive/UIG

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Hindu Brahmin priest, Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Hindu Temple, Singapore, Southeast Asia

Hindu Brahmin priest, Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Hindu Temple, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Asia

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Sadhu with Shiva trident attending Haridwar Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

Sadhu with Shiva trident attending Haridwar Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India, Asia

Background imageHoly Man Collection: A Sikh Temple in Umritzir - from a drawing by W. Carpenter, Jun. 1858. Creator: Unknown

A Sikh Temple in Umritzir - from a drawing by W. Carpenter, Jun. 1858. Creator: Unknown
A Sikh Temple in Umritzir [India] - from a drawing by W. Carpenter, Jun. 1858. Umritzir, the religious capital of the Sikh people, was first constituted a holy city by Arjoon, fourth Gooroo

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Heroic Landscape. Creator: Carracciernas Skola

Heroic Landscape. Creator: Carracciernas Skola
Heroic Landscape, Unknown date

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Ascetics before the Shrine of the Goddess, page from a dispersed series of the... early 19th cent

Ascetics before the Shrine of the Goddess, page from a dispersed series of the... early 19th cent. Creator: Unknown
Ascetics before the Shrine of the Goddess, page from a dispersed series of the Kedara Kalpa, early 19th century. The five pilgrims are shown engaged in three different activities

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Joghi Wallahs at Benares, from a sketch by one of our special artists, 1876. Creator: Unknown

Joghi Wallahs at Benares, from a sketch by one of our special artists, 1876. Creator: Unknown
Joghi Wallahs at Benares, from a sketch by one of our special artists, 1876. Indian ascetics:an exhibition of "joghi wallahs." These are a class of Hindoo religious mendicants

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Hindoo Fakir; Notes on the Ancient Temples of India, 1875. Creator: Unknown

Hindoo Fakir; Notes on the Ancient Temples of India, 1875. Creator: Unknown
Hindoo Fakir; Notes on the Ancient Temples of India, 1875. From Illustrated Travels by H.W. Bates. [Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, c1880, London] and Galpin

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Hindoo Dance - from a native drawing, 1857. Creator: Unknown

Hindoo Dance - from a native drawing, 1857. Creator: Unknown
Hindoo Dance - from a native drawing, 1857. Devotees outside a temple in India. The dancing takes place in the open air, and behind may be seen the peculiar architecture of a Hindoo temple

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Praying for Rain in Northern India; A Hindu Fakir Invoking the Gods, 1891. Creator: Unknown

Praying for Rain in Northern India; A Hindu Fakir Invoking the Gods, 1891. Creator: Unknown
Praying for Rain in Northern India; A Hindu Fakir Invoking the Gods, 1891. From "The Graphic. An Illustrated Weekly Newspaper", Volume 44. July to December, 1891

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Ancient Celtic warriors dressed for battle, with a shaman, c. 1800-18 (coloured engraving)

Ancient Celtic warriors dressed for battle, with a shaman, c. 1800-18 (coloured engraving)
468771 Ancient Celtic warriors dressed for battle, with a shaman, c.1800-18 (coloured engraving) by Italian School, (19th century); Private Collection; The Stapleton Collection; Italian

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Man in Loincloth with Strands of Beads, 1860s-70s. Creator: Unknown

Man in Loincloth with Strands of Beads, 1860s-70s. Creator: Unknown
Man in Loincloth with Strands of Beads, 1860s-70s

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Indian sadhu in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India, Asia

Indian sadhu in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India, Asia

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Fakir, or Mussulman saint, of Hoshungabad, Central India, 1864. Creator: Unknown

Fakir, or Mussulman saint, of Hoshungabad, Central India, 1864. Creator: Unknown
Fakir, or Mussulman saint, of Hoshungabad, Central India, 1864. The extraordinary figure delineated in our Engraving is the reverend Wuzzeer Alee Shah Mulung, a well-known Fakir, or Mussulman saint

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Sadhu (hindu holy man) at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Sadhu (hindu holy man) at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Sadhu (holy man) applying coloured powder at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Sadhu (holy man) applying coloured powder at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal

Background imageHoly Man Collection: India, Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi, Holy men on banks of Ganges River

India, Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi, Holy men on banks of Ganges River

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Guru at Holy Lake, City of Puskar, Rajasthan, India, Asia MR

Guru at Holy Lake, City of Puskar, Rajasthan, India, Asia MR

Background imageHoly Man Collection: A Muslim Fakir, India

A Muslim Fakir, India
3788934 A Muslim Fakir, India; (add.info.: A Muslim Fakir, India. Photograph taken early 20th century. Fakirs (Fakeers) are muslim ascetics found on the Indian sub-continent

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Pilgrim

Pilgrim
Giuseppe DAmico

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Man of Benares

Man of Benares
Trevor Cole

Background imageHoly Man Collection: The arrival of the 13th Dalai Lama (d. 1933) in India, illustration from Le Petit Journal

The arrival of the 13th Dalai Lama (d. 1933) in India, illustration from Le Petit Journal
CHT176301 The arrival of the 13th Dalai Lama (d.1933) in India, illustration from Le Petit Journal, 20th March 1910 (colour litho) by French School

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Buddhist Priests; Four Months in Ceylon, 1875. Creator: Unknown

Buddhist Priests; Four Months in Ceylon, 1875. Creator: Unknown
Buddhist Priests; Four Months in Ceylon, 1875. [Holy men from what is now Sri Lanka]. From, Illustrated Travels by H.W. Bates

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Hindoo Fakir, 1875. Creator: Unknown

Hindoo Fakir, 1875. Creator: Unknown
Hindoo Fakir; (Elephant shooting in the Dehra Dhoon), 1875. [Indian holy man with pierced cheeks, holding an item of religious significance]. From, Illustrated Travels by H.W. Bates

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Hindoo Mendicant at Hurdwar, 1875. Creator: Unknown

Hindoo Mendicant at Hurdwar, 1875. Creator: Unknown
Hindoo Mendicant at Hurdwar; (Elephant shooting in the Dehra Dhoon), 1875. [Holy man from Hardwar in India]. From, Illustrated Travels by H.W. Bates. [Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, c1880, London]

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Aged Hindoo votary at Hurdwar, 1875. Creator: Unknown

Aged Hindoo votary at Hurdwar, 1875. Creator: Unknown
Aged Hindoo votary at Hurdwar; (Elephant shooting in the Dehra Dhoon), 1875. [Holy man from Hardwar in India, wearing a framework decorated with items of religious significance

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Saint Francis predicts the death of a Knight in Celano, c. 1297-99 (fresco)

Saint Francis predicts the death of a Knight in Celano, c. 1297-99 (fresco)
XIR439922 Saint Francis predicts the death of a Knight in Celano, c.1297-99 (fresco) by Giotto (Giotto di Bondone) (c.1266-1337); San Francesco, Upper Church, Assisi

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Fakirs Wounding Themselves, c1891. Creator: James Grant

Fakirs Wounding Themselves, c1891. Creator: James Grant
Fakirs Wounding Themselves, c1891. From " Cassells Illustrated History of India Vol. II.", by James Grant. [Cassell Petter & Galpin, London, Paris and New York]

Background imageHoly Man Collection: View of the 'House of Fakirs', Baroda, c1891. Creator: James Grant

View of the "House of Fakirs", Baroda, c1891. Creator: James Grant
View of the " House of Fakirs", Baroda, c1891. From " Cassells Illustrated History of India Vol. I.", by James Grant. [Cassell Petter & Galpin, London, Paris and New York]

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Indian Fakir, c1891. Creator: James Grant

Indian Fakir, c1891. Creator: James Grant
Indian Fakir, c1891. From " Cassells Illustrated History of India Vol. I.", by James Grant. [Cassell Petter & Galpin, London, Paris and New York]

Background imageHoly Man Collection: 'What er thou desirest, great sage, 1912 (colour litho)

"What er thou desirest, great sage, 1912 (colour litho)
1122632 " What er thou desirest, great sage, 1912 (colour litho) by Paul, Evelyn (1870-1945); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Layla and Majnun, Mughal dynasty, 17th century. Creator: Unknown

Layla and Majnun, Mughal dynasty, 17th century. Creator: Unknown
Layla and Majnun, Mughal dynasty, 17th century

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Shah Jahan enthroned with Mahabat Khan and a Shaykh, from the late Shah Jahan Album

Shah Jahan enthroned with Mahabat Khan and a Shaykh, from the late Shah Jahan Album
3741812 Shah Jahan enthroned with Mahabat Khan and a Shaykh, from the late Shah Jahan Album, detached manuscript folio, 1629-1630 (opaque watercolour)

Background imageHoly Man Collection: The Elderly Shahjahan, from the late Shahjahan Album, detached manuscript folio

The Elderly Shahjahan, from the late Shahjahan Album, detached manuscript folio
3741912 The Elderly Shahjahan, from the late Shahjahan Album, detached manuscript folio, 1640-1660 (opaque watercolour and gold on paper mounted on paperboard) by Mughal School

Background imageHoly Man Collection: The Five Siddhas Make Their Way to the Kailasha Mountains, c. 1820 (opaque w / c on paper)

The Five Siddhas Make Their Way to the Kailasha Mountains, c. 1820 (opaque w / c on paper)
874009 The Five Siddhas Make Their Way to the Kailasha Mountains, c.1820 (opaque w/c on paper) by Purkhu (fl.c.1790-1820); 36.2 x49.1 cm; San Diego Museum of Art

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Detail from A Dervish, Seated in Contemplation, c. 1650 (opaque w / c & gold on paper)

Detail from A Dervish, Seated in Contemplation, c. 1650 (opaque w / c & gold on paper)
874402 Detail from A Dervish, Seated in Contemplation, c.1650 (opaque w/c & gold on paper) by Indian School, (17th century); 16.4 x12 cm; San Diego Museum of Art

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Oh, Holy Man, Mercy

Oh, Holy Man, Mercy
LLM461412 Oh, Holy Man, Mercy! by Browne, Gordon Frederick (1858-1932); Private Collection; (add.info.: Oh, Holy Man, Mercy)

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Byraghy, from The Costumes and People of India c. 1860 (b / w photo)

Byraghy, from The Costumes and People of India c. 1860 (b / w photo)
495517 Byraghy, from The Costumes and People of India c.1860 (b/w photo) by Hooper, Willoughby Wallace (1837-1912); Private Collection; (add.info.: A Byraghy is a hindu holy man)

Background imageHoly Man Collection: The holy man, Agra, India (b / w photo)

The holy man, Agra, India (b / w photo)
3104395 The holy man, Agra, India (b/w photo) by English Photographer, (20th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: The holy man, Agra, India)

Background imageHoly Man Collection: Hindu Fakir, from India Ancient and Modern, 1867 (colour litho)

Hindu Fakir, from India Ancient and Modern, 1867 (colour litho)
STC418223 Hindu Fakir, from India Ancient and Modern, 1867 (colour litho) by Simpson, William Crimea (1823-99); Private Collection; The Stapleton Collection; Scottish, out of copyright

Background imageHoly Man Collection: A Dervish, Seated in Contemplation, c. 1650 (opaque w / c & gold on paper)

A Dervish, Seated in Contemplation, c. 1650 (opaque w / c & gold on paper)
874403 A Dervish, Seated in Contemplation, c.1650 (opaque w/c & gold on paper) by Indian School, (17th century); 16.4 x12 cm; San Diego Museum of Art




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In the vast tapestry of spirituality, holy men emerge as beacons of faith and wisdom, transcending borders and cultures. A Priest of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church reads a very old scripture, his eyes filled with reverence for the ancient words that guide his flock. In another corner of the world, a supposed Holy man dressed as Hanuman captivates onlookers with his divine portrayal in an enchanting festival. Across India's diverse landscape, Sadhus embody renunciation and devotion. Clad in saffron robes, a Sadhu with Shiva trident attends Haridwar Kumbh Mela, where millions gather to cleanse their souls in sacred waters. The Man of Benares stands tall amidst Varanasi's ethereal ambiance – a city steeped in spirituality and known as the holiest place for Hindus. A glimpse into history reveals intriguing figures like the Man in Loincloth with Strands of Beads from 1860s-70s; though unknown by name or origin, he represents an era when spiritual seekers roamed distant lands seeking enlightenment. Closer to home at Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Hindu Temple in Singapore, a Hindu Brahmin priest conducts rituals that connect devotees to their deities. The call to prayer echoes through Nizwa's colorful mosque as a mullah walks inside – reminding us that holiness manifests itself differently across religions. Meanwhile, at Rajasthan's Holy Lake in Pushkar City, a Guru imparts profound teachings while surrounded by serene waters and devout followers. Even political upheaval cannot extinguish the radiance of spiritual leaders; illustrated vividly by Le Petit Journal’s depiction of the 13th Dalai Lama arriving in India amidst turmoil but carrying hope for his people. Buddhist Priests too hold significance on this journey towards enlightenment - captured beautifully during Four Months in Ceylon (1875) where they navigate life's complexities guided by the teachings of Buddha.