Lakshmana at the hermitage, folio from a Ramayana

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1
Download Image IIIF

Terms of Use

Creative Commons

At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1690-1710
  • Geography

    Kulu or Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh state, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (painting): 18.4 × 29.2 cm (7 1/4 × 11 1/2 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • School/Tradition

    Kulu or Bilaspur school
  • Description

    Painted in an eccentric palette of lemon yellow, warm pink, and mauve, this scene represents an ashram. The two young disciples Rama and Lakshmana appear twice: once with their teachers on the painting's left and again on the left by the gateway in the woven brush/bramble fence. A tiger and water buffalo lap water from the pond.
  • Inscriptions

    Inscribed on the top, right and bottom sides of the red border in takri script; Inscribed on the reverse in nagari: Ara[n]ya, 25; right side and an upside down.
  • Provenance

    Raja Raghbir Singh, Shangri, Kullu Valley, India.
    Sale, London, Sotheby’s, Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures, July 15, 1970, lot no. 164: “Lakshmana Arriving at a Hermitage by a Lake.”
    From 1970 to 2001
    Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), Beverly Hills, California, purchased at auction, “Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures” Sotheby’s, London, July 15, 1970, lot no. 164, “Lakshmana Arriving at a Hermitage by a Lake.” [1]
    From 2001 to 2018
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim in 2001. [2]
    From 2018
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim. [3]
    [1] Ralph Benkaim purchased the painting in July 1970 from Sotheby’s, two years before Indian paintings were classified as antiquities by the Indian government, according to his personal records via Catherine Glynn Benkaim.
    [2] See Acquisition Justification Form, object file, Collections Management Office.
    [3] See note 2.
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Raja Raghbir Singh
    Sotheby's (London)
    Ralph (1914-2001) and Catherine Benkaim
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim
  • Origin

    Kulu or Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh state, India
  • Credit Line

    Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring