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Drawing for a Ramayana series: Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva in conference (fol. 204)

Accession Number
1975/2.149

Title
Drawing for a Ramayana series: Rama, Lakshmana and Sugriva in conference (fol. 204)

Artist(s)
Indian

Artist Nationality
Indian (South Asian)

Object Creation Date
late 18th century - early 19th century

Medium & Support
ink on paper

Dimensions
9 3/4 in x 13 5/8 in (24.77 cm x 34.61 cm);8 1/16 in x 12 5/8 in (20.5 cm x 32 cm)

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

Label copy
In this drawing for a scene from the Ramayana, the hero Rama and his brother Lakshmana are seen entreating Sugriva, king of a divine tribe of monkeys, for aid. The brothers had searched in vain for Sita, Rama’s beloved wife, after she had been abducted from their forest hermitage. While they are conferring, several monkeys of Sugriva’s divine tribe take to the skies, eager to begin the search. With a few deft strokes the artist conveys the swiftly changing emotions of the moment, as the monkeys respond with astonishment, empathy, and action to Rama’s pleas.
While Western artists are likely to create forms through a repeated cycle of observation and sketching that records their thought processes, Indian artists rarely do so. A fundamental characteristic of Indian drawing and painting is its assured draftsmanship. Indian painters were trained from childhood to master an established repertoire of ideal forms. Drawings such as this one were made from a large set of templates for picturing a classical text, and would be handed down in a family of painters for several generations.
Exhibited in "Divine Encounters, Earthly Pleasures: Twenty Centuries of Indian Art," 12/12/03-2/22/04.
---
In this drawing of a scene from the Ramayana, the hero Rama and his brother Lakshmana are seen entreating Sugriva, king of a divine tribe of monkeys, for aid. The brothers had searched in vain for Sita, Rama’s beloved wife, after she had been abducted from their forest hermitage. While they are conferring, several monkeys of Sugriva’s divine tribe take to the skies, eager to begin the search. With a few deft strokes the artist conveys the swiftly changing emotions of the moment, as the monkeys respond to Rama’s pleas with astonishment, empathy, and action.
Drawings such as this one were based on templates for picturing a classical text, which were handed down to painters over several generations. Indian art is characterized by assured draftsmanship and Indian artists were trained from childhood to master an established repertoire of ideal forms.
(6/28/10)
(South and Southeast Asia Gallery Rotation, Spring 2010)

Subject matter
In this drawing for a scene from the Ramayana, the hero Rama and his brother Lakshmana are seen entreating Sugriva, king of a divine tribe of monkeys, for aid. The brothers had searched in vain for Sita, Rama’s beloved wife, after she had been abducted from their forest hermitage. While they are conferring, several monkeys of Sugriva’s divine tribe take to the skies, eager to begin the search.

Physical Description
Rama and Lakshmana sit under a tree with the King of the monkeys, surrounded by monkeys. Some monkeys have taken to flight in the upper corners of the drawing. With a few deft strokes the artist conveys the swiftly changing emotions of the moment, as the monkeys respond with astonishment, empathy, and action to Rama’s pleas.

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Primary Object Type
line drawing

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
crowns (headdresses)
men (male humans)
monkeys (animals)
trees

& Author Notes

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