A Night Battle
Page from a dispersed series of the Ramayana

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia

c. 1780-1790

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 8 × 12 1/16 inches (20.3 × 30.6 cm) Sheet: 9 13/16 × 13 7/8 inches (24.9 × 35.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 2002

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This page illustrates the Yuddhakanda, the sixth section of the Ramayana, in which Rama attacks Ravana in his island stronghold. A Night Battle shows the height of the war between Ravana's demons and Rama's armies of monkeys and bears. At the far right, Rama and Lakshmana gaze toward the distant shore where demons and monkeys struggle amid boulders, uprooted trees, dead horses, and body parts. In the foreground, the primary focus is a great pink demon, shown twice. On the far right he charges past his gruesomely gashed horses, staff held above his head. At the center of the painting, a monkey in a peaked cap grasps the same demon's head by one horn as blood streams from its throat. This page is from a series painted for Sansar Chand II (reigned 1775-1810) of Kangra. The series has the unusual feature of different color borders-blue for day scenes, and yellow for night.