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Ragamala series: Purvi Ragini 24

Accession Number
1980/2.298

Title
Ragamala series: Purvi Ragini 24

Artist(s)
Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1800

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

Dimensions
13 1/8 in x 9 3/4 in (33.34 cm x 24.77 cm);18 1/8 in x 22 1/8 in (46.04 cm x 56.2 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 arms gesture is interpreted as an erotic posture. The woman pines for her lover in his absence, as her attendants wait on her. Ragmala paintings also find place within the Pahari and Deccani painting traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

Physical Description
A central female figure is shown seated on chair, her hands outstreched in the form of a circle above her head. Two female attendants stand beside her, one on either side. The figures are on an open terrace, and a pavilion is represented behind them. It is daytime and the sky is cloudy. A short verse is painted above the depicted scene.

Primary Object Classification
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
calligraphy
courtyards
women

2 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