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Two Pages From a Ramayana Series Attributed to the Workshop of Mira Bagas

Two Pages From a Ramayana Series Attributed to the Workshop of Mira Bagas

Item Description:

REGISTERED ANTIQUITY - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)


Romapada Sends Courtesans to Rishyashringa’s Hermitage; The Ashwamedha Sacrifice Begins on the Bank of the River Sarayu

Uniara, India, 1760-1780

Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold

Image 8 1/2 x 12 1/8 in. (21.6 x 30.7 cm.); folio 9 7/8 x 15 in. (25 x 38.1 cm.); image 8 3/8 x 13 1/8 in. (21.3 x 33.3 cm.); folio 9 3/4 x 15 in. (24.7 x 38.1 cm.) (2)


For two pages from this same series, see Milo Cleveland Beach, Rajput Painting at Bundi and Kota, Ascona, 1974, pl. XLIX, figs. 50 and 51.

As per the text of Ramayana, the kingdom of Angra suffered from a drought and a famine, and a prophecy explained to Raja Romapada that the situation could only be alleviated by a Brahmin with special powers of perfect chastity. From a young age, sage Rishyashringa, was raised in the forest away from society, and as a result, he never saw a woman. In order to lure Rishyashringa to the city, Romapada sent a group of beautiful courtesans to the forest to seduce the sage and bring him to his capital to carry forward the rituals.

The first painting is divided into two halves, and the two episodes of the story can be seen at the same time as part of a narrative sequence. In the left half, Raja Romapada has summoned a group of courtesans to his court in preparation for their task. Beyond the river, on the right, lies the hermitage of Rishyashringa. The courtesans can be seen approaching the hut where the young sage sits with his father. The painting is remarkable for its rich depiction of flora and fauna. A thick grove can be seen behind the walls of the king's palatial quarters. The artist has laid emphasis on the portrayal of aquatic life, with ducks, herons and cranes living in harmony with the lush blooming lotuses. The forest is also decorated with lush foliage of trees and plantains.

In the second painting, as per the text, the sage Rishyashringa is sent by Romapada to Ayodhya to conduct the Ashwamedha ritual for Dasaratha. The left half of the painting depicts a scene of Ayodhya, where Rishyashringa sits with a council of Dasaratha's ministers, giving them directions regarding the exact requirements for the commencement of the ritual. In the lower register, the subjects of Ayodhya are seen cooking, spinning and busy in other daily activities,. Beyond the river, lies the spot chosen for the ritual. A group of Brahmins can be seen performing ritualistic duties around the holy fire. Not too far away, a group of masons work on preparing the venue. In the lower part, a troupe of acrobats perform tightrope walking and other acrobatic feats, surrounded by musicians who begin the festivities. The white horse chosen for the ritual can be seen trotting in a sprightly manner across the grass in anticipation of his long journey.

‡ Registered Antiquity - Non-exportable Item. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale.

* Antiquity or Art Treasure - Non-exportable Item. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale.

₹ 600,000.00 ( Low est. )
Lot 3‡* in The Fine Art Sale including Classical Paintings (M0029)
AUCTION DATE: Jan 21, 2021 at 6:30pm IST



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