Sunday, December 25, 2016

Image: Ravana Fallen

Ravana Fallen
(British Library: Mewar Ramayana)

From the Library site: Vibhisana was overcome with grief at the death of his brother Ravana, who despite his wickedness acted out his life in accordance with the dharma into which he was born. Rama on the left in full council instructs Vibhisana and the remaining demons to perform Ravana's funeral rites. Across the top of the picture the monkeys and demons gather the wood for the funeral pyre. On the right Ravana's body is surrounded by his lamenting wives headed by his chief wife Mandodari. The women express their grief with eloquent gestures. Sahib Din's expresses Mandodari's heartfelt lament for her dead husband and sons by placing her with her back to us as she unbraids her hair in the traditional gesture of the bereaved wife. The directional imperative from left to right has now ceased as Sahib Din reverts to a traditional dividing frame for his composition.

Details: Rama Makes Peace, 
Mandodari Grieves for Ravana
by unbraiding her hair,
Funeral Preparations

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