Mar 26, 2014
Mar 26, 2014

The birth of Rama and his brothers, from Chapter 17 of the Bala Kanda (Book of Childhood) of the Adhyatma Ramayana (Rama's Journey of the Supreme Spirit) from the Brahmanda Purana (Ancient Scripture of the Cosmic Egg)

The birth of Rama and his brothers, from Chapter 17 of the Bala Kanda (Book of Childhood) of the Adhyatma Ramayana (Rama's Journey of the Supreme Spirit) from the Brahmanda Purana (Ancient Scripture of the Cosmic Egg)

c. 1820–30

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Image: 25.1 x 34 cm (9 7/8 x 13 3/8 in.); Page: 29.9 x 38.5 cm (11 3/4 x 15 3/16 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1953.13

Location

Did you know?

King Dasharatha thought his wife Kaikeyi, shown sleeping, was the most beautiful of his three wives.

Description

In a retelling of the Ramayana from the 1200s, the blue god Vishnu appears in a vision to Queen Kaushalya just before she gives birth to his incarnation as Rama. In the foreground, her co-wife Queen Sumitra nurses one of her own newborn twins, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Rama’s half-brother Bharata lies swaddled next to his mother Queen Kaikeyi on an adjacent terrace of the women’s quarters. The patterned carvings and textiles of the palace interior communicate the luxury into which the princes were born, and from which Rama and Lakshmana will be eventually exiled.

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