A PAINTING FROM THE 'BHARANY' RAMAYANA: RAMA, SITA AND LAKSHMANA AT PANCHAVATI
A PAINTING FROM THE 'BHARANY' RAMAYANA: RAMA, SITA AND LAKSHMANA AT PANCHAVATI
A PAINTING FROM THE 'BHARANY' RAMAYANA: RAMA, SITA AND LAKSHMANA AT PANCHAVATI
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THE JOHN C. AND SUSAN L. HUNTINGTON COLLECTION
A PAINTING FROM THE 'BHARANY' RAMAYANA: RAMA, SITA AND LAKSHMANA AT PANCHAVATI

INDIA, PUNJAB HILLS, KANGRA OR GULER, FIRST GENERATION AFTER NAINSUKH AND MANAKU, CIRCA 1775

细节
A PAINTING FROM THE 'BHARANY' RAMAYANA: RAMA, SITA AND LAKSHMANA AT PANCHAVATI
INDIA, PUNJAB HILLS, KANGRA OR GULER, FIRST GENERATION AFTER NAINSUKH AND MANAKU, CIRCA 1775
10 x 14 in. (25.4 x 35.6 cm.) (folio)
8 1/8 x 12 1/4 in. (20.6 x 31.1 cm.) (image)
来源
C.L. Bharany, London, 31 December 1973.
The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Collection, Columbus, Ohio.

荣誉呈献

Tristan Bruck
Tristan Bruck Specialist, Head of Sale

拍品专文

Exiled from the Dandaka Kingdom, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana, dressed in leafy robes, build a home from themselves at Panchavati, an enchanted woodland valley in the heart of the Dandaka forest. As news of Rama’s banishment spreads, sages, hermits and even noblemen travel to his grassy shelter to pay homage to the ‘royal hermit.’ The ensuing philosophical exchanges are so liberating on the area’s religious seekers, that Rama finds himself engaging in these conversations on a daily basis.
This painting is from a dispersed series of the Ramayana, painted in Kangra by a master of the first generation after Nainsukh and Manaku. The series originally belonged to the dealer C.L. Bharany from which it takes its name, although it is also at times referred to as the 'Second Guler' Ramayana series. The series exemplifies the Pahari style at its best, presenting a world of refinement and delicacy on every page. This remarkably gifted group of painters produced among the most well-known and well-celebrated series in Indian painting, including the present series, the ‘Tehri Garhwal’ Gita Govinda and the ‘Modi’ Bhagavata Purana. The three works are all closely related stylistically and ichnographically and, according to W.G. Archer, these series were all commissioned by the mother of Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra (r.1775-1823) for his wedding in 1781. These series together rank among the finest achievements in Indian painting, becoming some of the most coveted illustrations among collectors.
The artists of this series reveled in the splendid beauty of Panchavati. As described in the Ramayana by the sage Agastya, Panchavati is a lovely, delightful and sacred land, abound in roots, fruits and every type of bird. Accordingly, the forest depicted in this scene is radiantly idyllic. Trees with contoured trunks, wrapped in serpentine vines, sprout lush and varied foliage with cascading floral splays. Wild animals, including fawns, pheasants, rabbits and peacocks, graze the layered hillocks, which position Rama’s hut to overlook the streams of the sacred Godavari River. The artists pay homage to the lush nature of the Pahari region using the scenery surrounding the Beas River and Kangra Valley to inspire their interpretations of the Dandaka forest. Overall luminous, alive, and colored with great care, pages from this series are amongst the most astonishing celebrations of nature in Pahari painting.
Although the series is unnumbered, and not previously known to the public until its dispersal in the 1970s, it is estimated that about 100 pages of this Ramayana subsist in private and public collections. The first three chapters of the series comprise the ‘Bharany’ Ramayana, while the final books were completed by the same artists in a slightly later continuation series, variously attributed to have been completed between 1780 and 1800. The individual paintings are particularly inventive and varied—some cityscapes, other idyllic nature landscapes and a succession of battle scenes — although many follow a similar composition along a diagonal, with a succession of planes and perspectives.
Among the 'Bharany' section, five illustrations from the Edwin Binney III Collection are in the San Diego Museum of Art (acc. nos. 1990.1267; 1990:1260; 1990:1265; 1990:1266; 1990:1268); two illustrations are in the Brooklyn Museum, New York (acc. nos. 78.256.3 and 80.181); four illustrations are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. nos. 1985.398.14,1976.15, 1976.14, 1976.15); five illustrations are at the Museum Rietberg (acc. no. RVI 981 and four published in Britschgi and Fischer nos. 11, 13 37 and 58); and three illustrations are at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (acc. nos. 2002-11-1, 2004-149-73 and 1977-11-1). The Minneapolis Museum of art also recently acquired a page from the series formerly in the Paul F. Walter collection (acc. no. 2021.7). A page from the series recently sold at Christie’s New York 22 March 2022, lot 466 for $201,600.

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