Ragamala series: Ragini Kedarau

Accession Number

Ragamala series: Ragini Kedarau

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1750

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

11 in x 7 7/8 in (28 cm x 20 cm);11 in x 7 7/8 in (28 cm x 20 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.

Kedara Ragini is an evening Shaiva melody. This image shows an ascetic engaged in a conversation with a nobleman. The dark sky above them suggests the time of the day. The text describes Kedara as a noble who, upon separating from his lover, takes on the attire and attitude of a yogi. 

Physical Description
Two male figures (possible a king and an ascetic) take over the central pictorial region, and are surrounded by a host of attendants. Two of these attendants hold fly whisks above the central figures' heads, and one tends to a horse in the bottom register. The king holds a shiny white object in his hand, which he then extends towards the bearded and long-haired bare-bodied ascetic.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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steps (stair units)

3 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Miniature Paintings Across Cultures 
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted