Lalita Ragini, Page from a dispersed Ragamala Series
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.
Opaque watercolor on paper
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)
At top. In black ink, in Devanagari script: Lalita ragini
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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)
overall, 39.86_IMLS_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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