Hanuman brings Rama and Lakshmana to meet Sugriva, from a Ramayana

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    ca. 1710
  • Geography

    Mankot, or possibly Nurpur, Himachal Pradesh state, India
  • Material

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
  • Dimension

    H x W (overall): 21 × 31.1 cm (8 1/4 × 12 1/4 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • School/Tradition

    Nurpur school
  • Description

    A half inch red/orange border. Close to the image is a pale black line followed by a dark black line framing the image. A tree on the left breaks into the border. The background is green and there is a large rocky outcropping in the foreground. Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman are on the right in front of the rocks. Two monkeys are perched in trees to the left. Another monkey offers a melon to Sugriva, king of the monkeys, who is seated on top of the Rishyamukha hill, hiding from his evil brother, Bali. Kishkindha Kanda (Book IV) 2-3.
  • Inscriptions

    Verso: 8 ½ lines of black Devanagari, 1 ½ lines of red Devanagari, which are a summary of the Valmiki Ramayana verses relating to this scene.
  • Provenance

    ?-January 1973
    Chhote Bharany, New Delhi, India, method of acquisition unknown [1]
    January 1973-2001
    Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), purchased from Chhote Bharany in California [2]
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim [3]
    From 2018
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchase and partial gift from Catherine Glynn Benkaim [4]
    [1] See curatorial notes titled “Hanuman brings Rama and Lakshmana to meet Sugriva, from a Ramayana,” dated May 2019, p. 141-142, copy in object file.
    Chhote Bharany (Chhotelal Bharany; C. L. Bharany) is a prolific dealer and collector of Indian art across various genres, but he is known for specializing in Indian paintings. Bharany stared his business in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in 1944 before relocating to New Delhi in 1962 and he sold objects to private collectors and museum both in India and abroad. Bharany’s father, Radha Krishna Bharany (ca. 1977-1942), was also a dealer and collector, active in Amritsar. C. L. Bharany inherited and expanded upon his father’s personal collection, and, in 2014, he gave objects from the joint collection to the National Museum in Kolkata. See “A Passionate Eye: Textiles, Paintings, and Sculptures from the Bharany Collections,” ed. Giles Tillotson (Mumbai: The Marg Foundation, 2014). In February 2023, Jagdish Mittal also relayed this information to Debra Diamond, Curator for South and Southeast Asian Art, National Museum of Asian Art, and added that C. L. Bharany established his gallery in South Extension, New Delhi.
    [2] See note 1.
    Ralph Benkaim was an entertainment lawyer from Los Angles who started collecting Indian and Islamic art in 1961.
    [3] See note 1.
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim is a collector and scholar in the field of Indian painting. Ms. Benkaim met her husband, Ralph Benkaim, in the 1970s when she was the curator of Indian painting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The couple were married 1979 and together they amassed a collection of Indian paintings, which included examples from all genres. They collected objects for their collection through dealers and auctions. Objects from their collection may also be found in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Williams College Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, among others.
    [4] See “Appendix B Bill of Sale” and “Appendix C Donor Substantiation Letter,” dated January 2, 2018, copy in object file.
    Research updated January 27, 2023
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Chhote Bharany (New Dehli, India)
    Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001)
    Catherine Glynn Benkaim
  • Origin

    Mankot, or possibly Nurpur, 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

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. 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