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The Abduction of Sita, Page from an illustrated manuscript of the Ramayana

Asian Art

This painting illustrates the pivotal moment in the Ramayana when the demon Ravana kidnaps Rama’s beautiful wife, Sita. The multiheaded Ravana and Sita are shown twice: at the lower left Ravana has mortally wounded a giant vulture who valiantly attempted to save Sita, while in the upper right corner the demon flies away with his prize. Sita drops a pouch of jewelry to a group of monkeys, who will report her abduction to Rama. In the background, two sickly trees flank a healthy tree, echoing ugly Ravana’s embrace of the lovely Sita.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
DATES ca. 1775
DIMENSIONS sheet: 9 3/4 x 14 1/16 in. (24.8 x 35.7 cm) image: 8 x 12 1/16 in. (20.3 x 30.6 cm)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
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