- Museum number
- Object: The Manley Ragamala
A blank paper page bound into the Manley Ragamala album and inscribed in ink with annotations referring to the first painted folio in the series (1973.9-17.03) by one William Watson (active 1774).
- Production date
- 1610 (circa)
Height: 26 centimetres
Width: 18 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The old label from the BM display of the album in 1963 (stuck to the front endpaper) states:
"This set of Ragamala paintings, of which only two are missing, was evidently painted for a Rajput patron closely associated with the Mughal court. Though much the landscape convention is still that of the late Akbar period, the male costume is characteristic of Jahangir's reign. It is therefore possible to date the Ragamala between 1610 and 1620 AD". At the time of acquisition in 1973, however, this group was identified as being of the Rajasthan School and in the 'Amber Style', a view that has not changed to the present day, but which may need to be revisited and redefining.
- On display (G33/dc63)
- Exhibition history
2017 30 Jun-26 Aug, Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery, Music of Courtly India
2017 6 May-25 Jun, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Music of Courtly India
1. Royal Academy of Arts, London, Exhibition of Indian and Pakistan Art (Nov. 1947 to Mar. 1948), Serial no. E 248 and exhibit no. 599 (ie the whole album)
2. The album was exhibited at the British Museum, "for several months from May 1963"
3. British Museum exhibition 'Painting of Rajasthan', 1978 (ref. in Cran 1979, 204).
4. 10th Oct 2007-27th Jan 2008, 'Seduced: Art and Sex', Barbican Gallery London, page 12 displayed
- These paintings are bound into a leather covered album of European style of the late 18th century and roughly octavo in size. Each of the outer faces of the leather cover are decorated with stamped concentric frames and a central decorative urn. Almost every blank surface in the collection is covered with speculative and descriptive notes in ink, handwritten by the original collector, Wm Watson. The pastedowns and front endpapers are heavily inscribed by Dr Manley, its last owner, in pencil and red ball point. He has pasted into the album at this point, two labels, the product of two public exhibitions of the album in 1947 and 1963 respectively. The paper is fragile with some evidence of splitting at the edges of the folios and more severe cracking where the edges of the paintings meet their backing papers. As well, there is evidence of much old worm damage and repair with common brown paper, particularly of the outer edges of the folios on to which overlap Watson's 18th century musings.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Collected in 1774 near Delhi by William Watson, during the Rohilla campaign (according to handwritten notes at the beginning of the album). In 1815, Watson gave the album to his daughter, Mary. Dr Manley is said to have bought the album at auction in the 1930s (Cran 1979, 185). The 1973 purchase report states that market value for the album in the year of its acquisition was £50,000. The album was purchased from the executors of Dr Manley's estate via the offices of Lloyd's Bank at Guildford.
- Registration number