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Ravana addresses Sita in the garden of Lanka| Guler-style

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Painting: Ravana addressing Sita in the garden of Lanka, from chapters 53 and 54 of Aranya Kanda (Book of the Jungle) of Ramayana (Journey of Ram).

This painting (1725) is of Guler style which has been prepared by tempera method. Gold and silver have also been used in this picture.

55.5 x 79 cm (21 7/8 x 31 1/8 in); Page: 56.3 x 81 cm (22 3/16 x 31 7/8 in)


The viewer is cut off from Lanka by the surrounding sea and the city’s golden walls, in this massive composition, probably intended for court display. This choice of perspective cleverly emphasizes the captivity of Rama’s faithful wife Sita. She kneels under an Ashoka tree, which is guarded by demons. The princess’s kidnapper, Ravana, the ten-headed and twenty-armed demon god of Lanka, appears twice in the image. In the palace, he takes advice from his council of ministers. On the right, he hears that Sita has refused to marry him. Ravana neither harms nor frees him.

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