(Indian, c. 1680–с. 1750)
Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Overall: 54.6 x 39 cm (21 1/2 x 15 3/8 in.); Painting: 40.1 x 29.1 cm (15 13/16 x 11 7/16 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael de Havenon 1973.237
A leering sea horse monster rears its head below the golden island city of Lanka.
Emperor Muhammad Shah rekindled an imperial interest in Hinduism that had not been so strong since the time of Akbar, 150 years before. He commissioned this painting that shows the acts of Rama, hero of a Hindu epic, who slays the demon of the golden city of Lanka at the top of the page. In the middle sections, various Hindu deities enjoy music, kite flying, and boating, while at the bottom the Krishna plays Holi with his lover Radha and other palace women. They shoot red-colored water at one another with plunger guns in celebration of the coming of spring.
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