Parashurama Offers Young Rama Another Bow

Artist/maker unknown, Indian

Made in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), West Bengal, Bengal Region, India, Asia

c. 1860

Opaque watercolor on laid paper

Image: 6 3/4 × 12 1/16 inches (17.1 × 30.6 cm) Sheet: 8 5/16 × 13 3/8 inches (21.1 × 34 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 2007

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During the nineteenth century, many Bengali artists found work producing souvenir depictions of religious processions, weddings, occupations, architecture, and city views for British patrons. These paintings were often made in batches and then collated into albums for easy viewing. Intended for one such set, this image shows actors performing a scene from the Ramayana, a sacred epic, in a busy Calcutta street. While the use of the three-quarter profile and light color washes recall the local Kalighat painting tradition (two examples of which are on display in this gallery), the deep picture plane and shadowy mass of spectators in the background were likely gleaned from European sources.