Ragamala: Sohini Ragini

Accession Number

Ragamala: Sohini Ragini

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1800

Medium & Support
ink and opaque watercolor on paper

12 13/16 in x 9 13/16 in (32.6 cm x 24.9 cm);12 13/16 in x 9 13/16 in (32.6 cm x 24.9 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.

This image also could be known as the Patmanjari Ragini (the inscription behind this work also suggests the same). The woman, separated from her lover, is in a state of anguish. Knowing this, her attendant brings a parrot to distract the mistress. Other versions of this image may contain more than one female attendant, and some versions may not contain the parrot at all. Ragmala paintings also find place within the Pahari and Deccani painting traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

Physical Description
A lady sits on a low-rise bed, facing her attendant. The attendant is holding a parrot, and the lady's gaze is directed towards the bird. It is daytime and an open pavilion is situated behind them. A short verse is painted above the depicted 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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