Hanuman Bearing the Mountaintop with Medicinal Herbs
This devotional image of Hanuman celebrates his most famous heroic feat—carrying the Himalayan Mount Vindaya to Rama and Laskmana, who, gravely wounded in combat, were in desperate need of the medicinal herbs that grow on its upper slopes (compare Hanuman Revives Rama and Lakshmana with Medicinal Herbs). Unsure which plants to gather, Hanuman breaks off the entire peak and carries it through the sky back to Rama. On his shoulder is a diminutive image of his Lord. Hanuman's mighty tail carries his army, which encircles the monkey general and Rama, emblematic of the strategic importance of Hanuman's alliance to Rama's victory against Ravana on Lanka. This painting is a reminder of the significant cult devoted to Hanuman that emerged in later periods; his supernatural strength, military prowess, and above all loyalty were qualities much admired, especially by the Rajputs.
Rama Releases the Demon Spies Shuka and Sarana
India (Himachal Pradesh, Guler)
On the eve of the great battle, Ravana sent the spies Shuka and Sarana to assess the strength of Rama's monkey and bear armies. Vibhishana discovered the spies, arrested them, and brought them before Rama (at right). Rama, sitting with Lakshmana and Sugriva, set them free, as they had come as "envoys" and were not armed. The demon spies are seen entering the palace and, at the top, reporting to Ravana. They tell of the terrifying strength of Rama's generals and his invincible army: "Vibishana took us captive with the intention of slaying us, O king, but Rama, he whose valor is immeasurable, seeing us, let us go."
Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana at the Hermitage of Bharadvaja
India (Punjab Hills, Kangra)
The sage Bharadvaja, seated in his wilderness forest shelter, gives counsel to Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana.He tells them of an auspicious retreat frequented by great rishis, which is both sacred and beautiful, where they might dwell for the duration of their fourteen-year exile. It is located in the Chitrakuta Mountains (upper right), on the banks of a lily pond. Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita proceed to cross the Yamuna River (upper left) to reach the hermitage. The painting gives visual expression to many descriptive passages in Valmiki's Ramayana.
The Monkey King Vali's Funeral Pyre
India (Himachal Pradesh, Kangra)
This complex composition illustrates multiple juxtaposed narratives. Smoke rises from the funerary pyre of the monkey king Vali, who was murdered by his brotherand rival Sugriva, with the help of Rama. Monkeys throw wood on the fire and his many widows stand in mourning. At the upper left, Sugriva approaches Rama, who affirms his installation as king of the monkeys. Rama is shown in a cave, as he vowed not to enter a city during his forced exile, which was to last fourteen years. His wilderness existence is further emphasized by the sages shown sitting in front of thatched huts in the center background. The narrative continues in the scene set within the mountains, where Sugriva, Hanuman, Lakshmana, and the monkey army (but not Rama) return to their vast and impenetrable golden capital to coronate the new king. This folio is a masterpiece of the Kangra school, multidimensional in its narrative content and having a subtle chromatic palette with finely graded tonalities punctuated by touches of strong color.
Building the Bridge to Lanka
India (Pahari Hills, Kangra)
The monkey army is shown constructing a bridge to Lanka so that Sita can be rescued from the evil Ravana. Above, the monkey king Sugriva and his general Hanuman consult with Rama and Lakshmana, who sit in a nearby forest. Typical of late eighteenth-century Kangra painters, the artist devoted great attention to descriptive details and dramatized the composition by the use of the jutting rock formation that intercepts the composition diagonally, energizing the whole.
Rama and Ravana in Bloody Combat on the Island of Lanka
India (Rajasthan, Kishangarh)
The climatic battle takes place outside Ravana's palace. Rama and Ravana confront each other from their chariots, firing deadly magic arrows. Other key events from the last two books of the Ramayana, the Yuddhakanda and the Uttarakanda, are also shown: the severed head of the giant Kumbhakarna (lower left); the battle in which Indrajit renders himself invisible and overwhelms Rama and Lakshmana with arrows that turn into writhing snakes, shown as clouds with lines of arrows raining down (upper left); and Hanuman flying in with the uprooted mountaintop to deliver needed medicinal herbs (upper left). On the right is a depiction of Ravana's palace. At the lower left, Sita sits in a walled asoka grove, while above Ravana is surrounded by his demon courtiers. The highest reaches of the palace burn, and Hanuman torches the roofs with his tail. Miniature vignettes illustrate events following the battle, such as Sita demonstrating her purity by stepping into the fire (lower left) and the golden aerial chariot in which Rama and Sita return to Ayodhya (far left). The rock formations reflect Mughal influence, but other motifs confirm that the painting is the product of a mid-eighteenth-century Kishangarh workshop.
- Re: 隐僧posted on 05/27/2010
- Re: 隐僧posted on 05/28/2010
- Re: RE: Ramayanaposted on 05/28/2010
- RE: Ramayanaposted on 05/06/2013
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