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Between and Mortarboard

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Ragamala: Devgandhar Ragini

Accession Number

Ragamala: Devgandhar Ragini

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1800

Medium & Support
ink and color on paper

12 1/2 in x 9 in (31.8 cm x 22.9 cm);12 1/2 in x 9 in (31.8 cm x 22.9 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel

Subject matter
Ragamala paintings draw from aspects of human experience in order to visualize specific moods, emotions, and qualities such as love, anguish, valor, weakness, and strength. A raga in Indian music is a melody consisting of a string of notes in a particular arrangement. Raginis are derivations from or variations of ragas in feminine mode (the basis of these classifications remains unexplained in many cases), and could have different or similar musical structures as ragas. Specific ragas are associated with specific times of the day, seasons, and emotions. When visualized, as here, ragas and raginis are meant to evoke the same affective responses that are allied to their musical modes. The text above the illustration refers to stories or incidents associated with the depicted raga/ ragini, but may not necessarily be narrative-like or descriptive. Drawn from literary tropes and tales that sophisticated writers and viewers would be aware of, the inscriptions are an integral part of the overall experience of this miniature painting. An illiterate viewer, however, could still enjoy the scene without reading the text.

Here, a female ascetic sits in the forest, her attendant close to her. This attendant could most likely be a young disciple with a writing tablet, as in other iterations of this ragini. Her disciple's eagerness alludes to the ascetic's wisdom.

Physical Description
A blue skinned female figure sits on a rug/ mat. She is in a forest and there are rocks behind her. A tiger and deer (hunter and prey) lie close to her, and a stream of water flows below. There are lotuses in the water. Another man sits beside the main figure, and he is holding a red board in one hand, a writing implement in the other. It is nighttime. A short verse is painted above the depicted scene.

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Named Gods and Goddesses

1 Related Resource

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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On display