Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper
Image: 16.4 x 26.8 cm (6 7/16 x 10 9/16 in.); Page: 20.7 x 31 cm (8 1/8 x 12 3/16 in.); with mat: 36.3 x 49 cm (14 5/16 x 19 5/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1973.103
The orange monkey Hanuman and the princes Lakshmana and Rama hide behind trees while Sugriva calls for Vali.
In a morally ambiguous scene, the white monkey Sugriva calls to his brother Vali, the rightful king of the forest-dwellers, to emerge from a cave. Behind him, the blue hero Rama hides with his brother and monkey ally Hanuman. Clutching a deadly three-pronged arrow, Rama prepares to slay Vali, so Sugriva will rise as king and be obliged to help locate Rama’s lost wife.
Paintings from this series illustrate a local Himalayan Ramayana. Their distinctive style incorporates rock formations and textiles reinterpreted from Mughal sources, probably brought to Nurpur when the Mughal emperor retreated there during the hot season.
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