An illustration from the 'Shangri' Ramayana: Hanuman with his monkey army forcing a troop of demon warriors to throw down their arms Kulu, circa 1700-1710

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Lot 124
An illustration from the 'Shangri' Ramayana: Hanuman with his monkey army forcing a troop of demon warriors to throw down their arms
Kulu, circa 1700-1710

Sold for £ 18,000 (US$ 22,437) inc. premium
An illustration from the 'Shangri' Ramayana: Hanuman with his monkey army forcing a troop of demon warriors to throw down their arms
Kulu, circa 1700-1710
gouache on paper, orange border, nagari inscriptions, in mount
225 x 330 mm.

Footnotes

  • This important Ramayana series, found at Shangri in Kulu (a large state deep in the Himalayas, north of Mandi and east of Basohli and Kangra), where a branch of the Kulu royal family settled in the 19th Century, has intrigued and fascinated scholars and collectors alike since it was discovered by M. S. Randhawa in 1956. Raja Jagat Singh (1637-72) brought to Kulu in about 1660 an image of Raghunath (Rama) from Ayodhya in Oudh, which was the start of a strong devotion to the Hindu deity. Later, during the reign of Raja Man Singh (1688-1719), when Kulu was at its most powerful, the Ramayana was therefore a fitting project which employed the best Kulu artists and the court artists of Basohli and Bilaspur, connected by family to Kulu. There is no evidence of painting at Kulu until 1690 but the two hundred and seventy paintings in the series, of which one hundred and sixty-eight are in the National Museum, New Delhi, show how much painting at Kulu was flourishing at the end of the 17th Century. W. G. Archer breaks the series into four distinctive styles: the present lots fall into Style III, a part of the series devoted particularly to monkey scenes. The blue background of lot 124 is unusual. Other leaves, apart from the ones in New Delhi, are in the Bharat Kala Bhavan, Benares; the British Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum, and several important private collections.

    For comparison, see: M. S. Randhawa, Basohli Painting, 1959, pls. 16 and 18; W. G. Archer, Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills, London 1973,; W. G. Archer, Visions of Courtly India, London 1976, nos. 547-551; Sotheby's New York, 1st April 2005, lots 108 and 109; 20th September 2005, lots 125 and 126; 29th March 2006, lots 157 and 158; 19th September 2006, lots 9 and 10.
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