Ragamala: Setmalar RaginiArtist(s)Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur SchoolObject Creation Datecirca 1800Medium & Supportink and opaque watercolor on paperDimensions
12 1/2 in x 9 in (31.8 cm x 22.9 cm);13 1/8 in x 9 3/4 in (33.4 cm x 24.8 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. FigielSubject 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, a female ascetic listens to music from a veena (could also be a sitar or tambura; hard to say accurately). In some descriptions of this ragini the ascetic smears ashes on her body, and looks as beuaitful and splendid as a conch shell or the moon. She may or may not be holding a rosary, and remembers her lover in her heart. The tenor and mood are of separation from her loved one.Physical Description
A blue-skinned female sits on an open-air terrace, behind her is a pavilion. Another female (?) figure is seated beside her, playing a stringed instrument, possibly the veena. A short verse is painted above the depicted scene.Primary Object ClassificationPaintingCollection AreaAsianRights
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Named Gods and Goddesses