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Here, Saranga Ragini is represented as a young lord playing with, or taking lessons, from an older musician. The painting has a remarkable array of decorative details and rich colors, from the lime, salmon, and sepia colored brickwork to the plum and mulberry domes with thickly applied gold finials resplendent before a blue-black sky. It compares favorably to another version from the same school published in Ebeling, Ragamala Painting, 1973, p. 238, no. 176.
Anand Krishna in his pioneering study of what was then called Malwa painting notes that the dispersed Ragamala series to which this painting belongs, 'represents the school in its most sublime form' (Krishna, Malwa Painting, 1963, p. 27). More recently, Seitz has firmly located the 'Malwa' sets in Bundelkhand, suggesting the princely state of Datia for this particular series. Others from it are published in ibid., pl. J; Pal, The Classical Tradition in Rajput Painting from the Paul F. Walter Collection, 1978, no. 19; and Seitz, Orchha, Datia, Panna, Malwa, 2015, no. 40. Another folio is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1975.409.1).
Moti Chandra, Mumbai
Pramod Chandra, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1964-2014
American Private Collection
Dr. Moti Chandra, the eminent art historian, author, numismatist, and Indologist, was Director of the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) for over thirty years. His son, Dr. Pramod Chandra, was Harvard University's George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art for twenty-four years and was described in a tribute in the Harvard Gazette as an "exemplar of the most exacting standards in the scholarship of Indian art history." As well as a beloved professor, Pramod Chandra was a celebrated author and curator, including guest curator of the renowned 1985 exhibition "The Sculpture of India" at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The contributions of both father and son to the appreciation and understanding of Indian art cannot be overstated.