An Illustration to a Ramayana Series: Rama and Lakshmana confer with the monkey army Opaque watercolor on paper, Kangra or Guler, Late 18th century
Lot 89
An Illustration to a Ramayana Series: Rama and Lakshmana confer with the monkey army Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, Kangra or Guler, Late 18th century
Sold for US$ 74,500 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
An Illustration to a Ramayana Series: Rama and Lakshmana confer with the monkey army
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, Kangra or Guler, Late 18th century
In a seemingly passive scene Rama and Lakshmana confer with the money generals in a field strewn with spent arrows, to the right the monkeys battle with general Indrajit in the foreground, and the retreat of general back to the Lanka fort behind. In the back center another battle scene shows Indrajit faking the death of Sita while a number of monkeys cower against the hills at the thought of the loss, the golden Lanka fort above shows a diminutive figure of Ravana.
image: 8 x 12 in. (20.5 x 30.5 cm), folio: 10 x 14 in. (25.3 x 35.5 cm)

Footnotes

  • The composition is distinguished by the rich and lush foliage that is a hallmark of late 18th century painting in Guler and Kangra. Compare with another page in the series that sold at Sotheby's, New York, March 21, 2012, which has a almost identical perspective and pink tinged ridges, but is a singular event and lacks any foliage.

    The Ramayana series from which this miniature originates was executed at Kangra circa 1775-80 and represents the style current there when Sansar Chand came to the throne in 1775. The series may have been commissioned by the mother of the ruler or by the family priest in anticipation of his marriage in 1781. It can be attributed to the same masters as worked on the "first" Bhagavata Purana and the "first" Gita Govinda series produced for Sansar Chand. Pages from this Ramayana have been published and discussed in W G Archer, Visions of Courtly India, London, 1976, nos. 40-42; Pratapaditya Pal, The Flute and the Brush, The Theo Brown and Paul Wonner Collection, Newport Beach, 1976, no. 6.

    For other pages from the this series see: . Goswamy and Fischer, nos. 143-145, pp. 340-343; Mason, 2001, no. 81, p. 190; Poster, 1994, nos. 215 & 216, pp. 263 & 264; Ehnbom, 1985, nos. 116-118; Kossak, 1997, no. 62; Archer, pl. 4; Archer, 1976, pls. 40-42, pp. 72-77; Khandalavala, 1958, pl. J, figs. 1, 3, 12 and 13. Other pages are also found in the Mittal Collection, Shimla Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sotheby's New York, March 22, 2002, lots 47 & 48, Sotheby's, London, October 12, 1981, lot 107, April 24, 1979, lot 151 and December 11, 1973, lots 343-345.
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