Gum tempera and gold on paper
Image: 55.5 x 79 cm (21 7/8 x 31 1/8 in.); Page: 56.3 x 81 cm (22 3/16 x 31 7/8 in.)
Gift of George P. Bickford 1966.143
Ravana’s wives take the forms of beautiful women and fearsome demonesses.
The demon king Ravana, the villain of the epic Ramayana, has 10 heads and 20 arms and lives on the golden island of Lanka. He is shown twice in this painting: enthroned with demon guards at left and approaching the heroine Sita at right, whom he has abducted and imprisoned. Guarded by demonesses, Sita sits steadfast in her refusal to become his queen and to remain faithful to her husband Rama.
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