Mar 19, 2014

Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana in the forest

Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana in the forest

c. 1830

Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Painting: 21.5 x 15.1 cm (8 7/16 x 5 15/16 in.); Overall: 23.9 x 17.3 cm (9 7/16 x 6 13/16 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1989.332


Did you know?

Indian artists adopted the oval format from European models.


Although banished from their home, Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana enjoy ten years of relative peace in the wilderness. They build a small hut, make clothes of bark cloth, and eat from the bounty of the forest. Lakshmana neatly prepares meat and roasts kabobs over a fire.

The oval format, adopted from European models, suggests this scene was part of an album series. The pale hues and placement of figures in a space that recedes into the background reveal awareness of imperial Mughal paintings. The hilly scenery was likely inspired by the landscape surrounding the Kangra Valley.

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