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Ragamala series: Ragini Gujari

Accession Number

Ragamala series: Ragini Gujari

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1750

Medium & Support
ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

10 15/16 in x 8 in (27.8 cm x 20.3 cm);10 15/16 in x 8 in (27.8 cm x 20.3 cm)

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

Label copy

Jaipur School
Ragamala series: Ragini Patamanjari; Kukubha ragini;
Ragini Gujari

India, Rajasthanca. 1750
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel, 1975/2.161; 1975/2.153; 1975/2.157

Left to right

Gujari ragini:

Caupayī: The Creator had put together all his wits to picture the handsome sprightly Gujarī. A confidante sits in front and recites verse (or plays on the vīna). Her song induces drizzling rain,
and her sight delights the heart of her lover. There is a peacock shining in its nimble movements, its voice so sweet, captivates the heart, we have never seen a second lady so beautiful, the love of the life of her beloved lover.

Dohā: Covering her body with a yellow robe, the damsel of bright complexion sits. She steals one’s heart and makes Megha Mallār happy.

(translation by Stephen Markel)

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.

Gujari Ragini is a morning melody of the monsoon season, representing the sorrow of separation. In this image, the woman is shown playing an instrument (the text says it is a veena), as the woman seen in the right-hand side recites verse. The peacock perhaps symbolizes her absent lover.

Physical Description
A lady plays a musical instrument (most probably the rudra vina) in the center-left of the composition. Within the palace setting are also two attendants--one standing with a fly whisk above her mistress's head, the other seated in the right edge of the picture. A peacock with his feathers on full display is depicted in the center-left of the image, amidst the action enveloping the female figures. Utensils are placed on the staircase below the scene.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Musical instruments
musical instruments

3 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Miniature Paintings Across Cultures 
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )

& Author Notes

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On display