Kedara ragini Bundi, circa 1750

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Lot 100
Kedara ragini
Bundi, circa 1750

£ 6,000 - 8,000
US$ 7,900 - 11,000
Kedara ragini
Bundi, circa 1750
gouache and gold on paper, yellow panel at top inscribed in nagari script sri raga kedara ragini 35, red border
266 x 192 mm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Formerly in the collection of Dr Alma Latifi, CIE, OBE.
    Dr Latifi, a civil servant, amassed a substantial collection of Indian paintings from which several pieces were loaned to the Royal Academy exhibition The Art of India and Pakistan, 1947-48.
    Private UK Collection.

    The musical mode Kedara Ragini is depicted as Mahadeva, taking the form of a Shaivite yogi, with a vina over his shoulder, seated outside his meditation hut listening to a sarinda player. Mahadeva, meaning 'great god', is one of the names of Shiva, who despite his potent destructive powers, also has a benevolent side where he lives the quiet contemplative life of an ascetic and omniscient yogi on top of Mount Kailash. Mahadeva can be identified by his third eye, Shiva's matted locks around which a snake twirls, and the face of the river Ganga emerging from his hair. The crescent moon that lights the scene is also a symbol of Shiva that usually floats as a crest above his head.

    According to Klaus Ebeling (Ragamala Painting, 1973, p. 62), in the Rajasthani tradition, the iconography of Kedara Ragini, fifth wife of Sri Raga, is described variously as an ascetic listening to the music of a disciple; or a beardless ascetic with a vina and a visitor; or an ascetic with a vina and a noble visitor seated on a terrace or in a tower. Elements from all these variations of the iconography are combined with the imagery of Shiva as Mahadeva. Ebeling illustrates (p. 268, no. 287) a Deccani example of Kedari, where an ascetic listens to the music of a disciple who plays the vina; and an example from Amber (no. 288), where the river Ganga flows from the head of an ascetic who is clearly Shiva as Mahadeva, seated on his tiger pelt counting his rudrakshamala beads.
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