Ragamala series: Lalit Ragini

Accession Number

Ragamala series: Lalit Ragini

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1750

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

11 in x 8 in (27.9 cm x 20.3 cm);11 in x 8 in (27.9 cm x 20.3 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.

Lalit Ragini is a sunrise, spring time melody with devotional associations. It also has connotations of sexual dalliance, which are alluded to by the name 'lalit' itself. In this image, after a night of passion lovemaking, the male lover is seen departing the female's bedchamber. The sun symbolizes that it is early morning. The woman is possibly going to be anguished or angry, upon knowledge of her lover's departure, and so her attendants wait on her and keep her company.

Physical Description
A woman lies in her bedchamber, attended by two female figures. One of these attendants holds a fan above the woman's body, the other is shown caressing or massaging the lady. A male figure is shown departing the palace where the woman lies; a garland is shown in one of his hands, a sword clasped in another. A female attendant looks at him and gestures as he seems to departs. A male attendant, along with a horse, is shown in the bottom register.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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

4 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Miniature Paintings Across Cultures 
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )
Treatment and Healing
(Part of: History of Medicine - American Association of Historians of Medicine (AAHM))

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted