Nata Ragini (A Horseman Battles Foot Soldiers)
Page from a dispersed ragamala series (garland of musical modes)
Artist/maker unknown, India
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Nata raga is most often shown as a furious battle in which a soldier on horseback lops off the head of a foot soldier. Here a mounted figure (who, oddly, wears a short blouse and may be meant as a woman) is set against a bright red ground with a white, arched horizon separating it from the pure black sky. A foot soldier cowers from the upraised sword. Beneath the horse's hoofs lies a recently slain corpse; parts of its body and the blood gushing from its severed neck break into the yellow border, a space originally reserved for text.