Bharata Performs Rites at His Father's Death
Page from a dispersed series of the Ramayana

Artist/maker unknown, India

Geography:
Made in India, Asia
Probably made in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India, Asia

Date:
c. 1820-30

Medium:
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Dimensions:
16 x 21 inches (40.6 x 53.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Indian and Himalayan Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1955-11-2

Credit Line:
Purchased with the John T. Morris Fund, 1955

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Label:
The purity of purpose embodied in this scene from the Ramayana epic is echoed in the spare style of painting. Dasharatha, king of the northern city of Ayudhya, has just died and is being cremated at the upper left of the composition. At the right of the painting, Prince Bharata explains to the sage Vaishista and the gathering of noblemen that he will not take the throne but will work to return his brother Rama, the rightful leader by both birth and temperament, to the kingship. Rama had earlier been banished into the forest through the scheming of one of his stepmothers, who wanted her own son to inherit the throne.