Ragamala: Malavi Ragini

Accession Number

Ragamala: Malavi Ragini

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1800

Medium & Support
ink and opaque watercolor on paper

13 1/4 in x 9 3/4 in (33.6 cm x 24.7 cm);13 1/4 in x 9 3/4 in (33.6 cm x 24.7 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.

In this image, the man and woman walk towards the bed with their arms around each other. They look into each others' eyes and gesture as though in conversation. The scene alludes to and foreshadows their lovemaking and amorous desire. Ragmala paintings also find place within the Pahari and Deccani painting traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

Physical Description
In this brightly painted scene, a man is shown walking with a female, directing her towards an open-air pavilion on a terrace. Another female figure is settling the bed within this pavilion. It is daytime, and an open door attached to another building is represented on he left most portion of the image. A verse is painted above the scene.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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1 Related Resource

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

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