Ragamala series: Nata ragini 3 (Battle scene)

Accession Number

Ragamala series: Nata ragini 3 (Battle scene)

Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School

Object Creation Date
circa 1800

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

12 7/8 in x 9 3/4 in (32.75 cm x 24.75 cm);12 7/8 in x 9 3/4 in (32.75 cm x 24.75 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.

Scholars are perplexed by the difference between the word 'nata' (which has to do with dance) and battle scenes of this type that are shown in representations of the Nata Ragini. This Ragini is of the summer and should be sung in the fourth quarter of the day. Iconographically, the deep, resonant tones of this Raga may suggest its associations with war and battles.

Physical Description
An open-air battle scene showing two men engaged in combat. Their swords and shields are drawn, and intense action is depicted. A dead figure lies at the foot of the horse. A short verse is painted above the depicted scene.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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4 Related Resources

Art of the Mughal Empire
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Death and Dying
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Combat, Battle, Warfare
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Miniature Paintings Across Cultures 
(Part of: Visual Cultures of Islam )

& Author Notes

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