Dasharatha Distributes Gifts at the Births of His Four Sons
Probably from a dispersed series of the Ramayana

Artist/maker unknown, India

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

Date:
c. 1780-1800

Medium:
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Dimensions:
Image: 10 7/8 × 7 3/4 inches (27.6 × 19.7 cm) Sheet: 10 15/16 × 7 15/16 inches (27.8 × 20.2 cm) Mount: 11 5/16 × 8 5/16 inches (28.7 × 21.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
South Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1959-93-85

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lessing J. Rosenwald, 1959

Social Tags [?]

There are currently no user tags associated with this object.


[Add Your Own Tags]

Label:
Births were occasions for musical pageantry, as this illustration from the Ramayana, one of the great Hindu religious texts of India, shows. Here the ancient king Dasharatha distributes gifts to his subjects to commemorate the births of his four sons, one of whom is Rama, an incarnation of the god Vishnu and protagonist of the epic. On the right and in the background, musicians assembled on balconies play horns and drums. This type of galleried structure - called a naqqara-khana, literally "drum house" - was a common feature of Indian palaces during the late eighteenth century. From their elevated perches, court musicians added dramatic flourish to royal ceremonies.