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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)


Vishwamitra Asks Vashistha for the Cow of Plenty, but is Refused; The Brides and Grooms Leave for Ayodhya

Uniara, India, 1760-1780

Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold

Image 7 7/8 x 12 1/2 in. (20 x 31.3 cm.); folio 10 3/8 x 15 1/4 in. (26.4 x 38.7 cm.); image 8 1/4 x 13 in. (20.9 x 33 cm.); folio 10 3/8 x 15 1/8 in. (26.3 x 38.4 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.

The first painting depicts the story of Vishwamitra's transformation from a king to a sage. Vishwamitra was a king known by the name Kaushika. One day, he visited the ashram of sage Vashishtha with his entire army. Vashishtha had at his ashram, Kamadhenu, a wish-fulfilling cow with divine powers. Kaushika was received well by the sage Vashishtha, and he catered for the entire army with the aid of Kamadhenu. Kaushika was mesmerised by the cow's powers and abilities and wished to take the cow to improve the welfare of his kingdom. Hence, he asked Vashishtha for Kamadhenu. On being refused his request, Kaushika tried to take Kamadhenu by force. Vashishtha, using his powers attained by strict penance, defeated Kaushika for the insolence. Nursing his wounds, Kaushika sought revenge. After pleasing Lord Shiva and obtaining many powerful weapons, Kaushika challenged Vashishtha again. With his Brahmadanda, Vashishtha was able to nullify all of Kaushika's weapons. In anger, Kaushika rejected his warrior strength and sought to become a sage. Kaushika performed penance and was rewarded with the title of Rajarishi, the king of sages.

In the first painting, Kaushika's army is seen engaged in battle with a troop emerging out of Kamadhenu's mouth. The artist has exhibited his dexterity in balancing the composition by depicting Kamadhenu in multiple forms against Kaushika's militia. In the centre of the composition, Raja Kaushika is portrayed requesting Vashishtha for Kamadhenu.

The second painting depicts the wedding procession of Rama and his brothers to Sita and her sisters. According to the legend, Rama won Sita's hand in marriage by breaking Lord Shiva's bow. On winning Sita's hand in marriage, Rama married Sita, and Rama's brothers were wed to her sisters. The marriage ceremony was conducted under the guidance of Satananda. The ceremony was auspicious, and the divine couples were flowered by celestial beings. After concluding the ceremony and taking blessings of Vishwamitra, the four brothers with their wives left for Ayodhya.

The four couples are depicted sitting in front of Brahmins who are conducting the last rite of Nandi-Shraddha, the ceremony to worship cows. In the upper register, a group of celestial beings are showering flowers and playing music for this auspicious event. After the completion of the ceremony, the procession moves towards Ayodhya with the brides. Rama and his brothers can be seen riding chariots, while the four brides are being carried in palanquins closed with brightly coloured textiles. Vashishtha and Dasaratha lead the procession on their chariots.

‡ 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 5‡* in The Fine Art Sale including Classical Paintings (M0029)
AUCTION DATE: Jan 21, 2021 at 6:30pm IST



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