Bhairavi Ragini from the Manley Ragamala, an album painting in gouache on paper
Probably Amber, Rajasthan,
Sub-Imperial Mughal style, around AD 1610
Two women worship Shiva in a lotus-filled lake, an illustration to a musical and poetic mood
Painting, music and poetry came together in the courts of northern India from the sixteenth century in the production of paintings known as ragamala ('garland of ragas'). A raga is a musical phrase that evokes an emotional response in the listener, and is associated with a particular time of day, season and mood. 'Male' ragas were joined with 'female' raginis.
painting is of the Bhairavi
ragini, a lady worshipping a
This painting is one of thirty-four in a ragamala album named after its last owner, Dr W.B. Manley. The earliest European owner was William Watson, who acquired the paintings in 1774 in or near Delhi. The previous owners included the original patron who commissioned the Sanskrit captions to the pictures, as well as at least one later patron who could read the Urdu numbering of the pages.
M.C. Beach, Mughal and Rajput painting (Cambridge University Press, 1992)
T. R. Blurton, Hindu art (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)
Asia OA 1973.9-17.03
Collected by William Watson