Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita in the Chitrakuta forest, folio from a Ramayana

Amidst a series of colorful land fantastically imagined trees, Rama, Lakshmana and Sita wander along the banks of a lotus-strewn river. A pair of cranes and two deer, along with many ducks swimming in the river, emphasize the idyllic beauty of the forest.

Maker(s)
Artist: Attributed to Master of the Jagged Water's Edge
Historical period(s)
ca. 1680-1690
School
Mewar school
Medium
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (painting): 25.4 × 40.5 cm (10 × 15 15/16 in) H x W (overall): 25.4 × 40.5 cm (10 × 15 15/16 in)
Geography
India, Rajasthan state, Mewar
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2018.1.73
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 28a: A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Painting

Keywords
India, Lakshmana, landscape, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection, Rama, Ramayana, Sita
Provenance
Provenance research underway.
Description

Amidst a series of colorful land fantastically imagined trees, Rama, Lakshmana and Sita wander along the banks of a lotus-strewn river. A pair of cranes and two deer, along with many ducks swimming in the river, emphasize the idyllic beauty of the forest.

Inscription(s)

recto
|| rām || ayodhyā || 6 pache rām lakśman || gangā re tat || van
dekhtā cālyā ||
Ram[ayana]. Ayodhya. 6 Behind Rama, Lakshmana. On the
banks of the Ganges. Walking, they see the forest

Label

Amidst a series of colorful land fantastically imagined trees, the three protagonists wander along the banks of a lotus-strewn river. A pair of cranes and two deer, along with many ducks swimming in the river, adds to the natural element of the scene. Birds and bees abound within the trees.

Rama addresses Sita: “...see the blossoming trees on every side, like unto flaming torches! Look at the Kimshuka Trees with their diadem of flowers; winter is at an end! Here are the Bhallatakas and Bilvas little valued by men; they are bowed under the weight of flowers and fruit, which one cannot eat. O Lakshmana, see the honey the bees have left hanging on each tree, which is gathered in jars. The Natyuha is calling and the Shikhin replies in this ravishing wood , that is carpeted with flowers.…This wonderful and level place that is covered with innumerable trees and is pure, this Chitrakuta Wood would be a pleasant dwelling place for us, O Friend.”

Published References
  • Joan Cummins. Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior. Exh. cat. no. 78.
  • A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur. Exh. cat. Munich, 2022. cat. 6, pp. 80-81, 321.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
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