Mar 24, 2014
Mar 24, 2014

Sugriva challenges his brother Vali, King of the Forest Dwellers, to a duel, folio 10 from the Kishkindha Kanda (Book of Kishkindha) of a Ramayana (Rama’s Journey)

Sugriva challenges his brother Vali, King of the Forest Dwellers, to a duel, folio 10 from the Kishkindha Kanda (Book of Kishkindha) of a Ramayana (Rama’s Journey)

c. 1700–1720

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

Did you know?

The orange monkey Hanuman and the princes Lakshmana and Rama hide behind trees while Sugriva calls for Vali.

Description

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.

See also

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