Mar 18, 2014

Hanuman with Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders, from a Kalighat album

Hanuman with Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders, from a Kalighat album

c. 1890

Gum tempera, graphite, ink, and tin on paper

Overall: 68.8 x 42.6 cm (27 1/16 x 16 3/4 in.); Painting: 45.6 x 29.4 cm (17 15/16 x 11 9/16 in.)

Gift of William E. Ward in memory of his wife, Evelyn Svec Ward 2003.120

Did you know?

Hanuman can change his size and form at will, even making himself colossal in order to carry the two princes.


A simplified but bold color palette of orange, yellow, and green with silvery accents gives this image of Rama, Lakshmana, and their monkey ally Hanuman a sense of rhythm and urgency. Riding on Hanuman’s shoulders, the hero Rama—painted green—and his brother Lakshmana search for Rama’s abducted wife Sita. At the bottom of the painting, an informal scrawl contemplates the identification of the colossal figure as either the “Great Hero” Hanuman or Sugriva, but the image of a devoted tawny monkey carrying the two brothers unambiguously indicates Hanuman, Rama’s most faithful follower.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.