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Lalita Ragini, Page from a dispersed Ragamala Series

Asian Art

In the fifteenth or sixteenth century, a new genre of painting developed that attempted to capture in imagery the moods of famous passages of classical music. The music, known as ragas or raginis, inspired artists to create little scenarios—happy or sad, fierce or quiet, taking place in the daytime or nighttime, the summer or winter—that were illustrated over and over again.

The rulers of Bundi and their cousins, the rulers of Kota, were particularly fond of these musical paintings, and they commissioned hundreds of them. This relatively early example from Bundi depicts the musical theme Lalita, in which a male lover leaves a passionate tryst early in the morning. He looks back fondly at the woman, and one senses that he would gladly have stayed for more.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor on paper
DATES ca. 1640
DIMENSIONS sheet: 11 15/16 x 6 5/16 in. (30.3 x 16.0 cm) image: 11 5/8 x 6 5/8 in. (29.5 x 16.8 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS At top. In black ink, in Devanagari script: Lalita ragini
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Indian. Lalita Ragini, Page from a dispersed Ragamala Series, ca. 1640. Opaque watercolor on paper, sheet: 11 15/16 x 6 5/16 in. (30.3 x 16.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 39.86 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 39.86_IMLS_PS4.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 39.86_IMLS_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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