- Museum number
Object: Bhairavi ragini
Object: The Manley Ragamala
A painting on paper (bound into an album) from the Manley Ragamala (ragamala - lit. 'garland of melodies', and thus a compendium of the musical modes and the emotions associated with them). This is the 'Bhairavi Ragini'. It depicts a woman with a female attendant worshipping a Śiva-linga, placing garlands on it and chanting, keeping time with the cymbals she holds in her hands. She sits in a pavillion set in a lake, which is filled with lotuses and water birds. At the base of the linga are various ritual vessels, while a diminutive bull is shown curled up on the pavilion steps. Inscribed.
- Production date
- 1610-1620 (circa)
Height: 20.40 centimetres (the painted area)
Width: 14.70 centimetres (the painted area)
- Curator's comments
The old label from the BM display of the album in 1963 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".
Bibliography: Watts 1965 'Eos'.
Bibliography: Gray, Basil 1947 p.252, L'Amour de l'Art (November issue).
- 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.
BM, Gallery 33, Dec 2018 - Dec 2019
- These paintings are bound into a leather covered album of European style of the late 18th century and roughly octavo size. 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. The paper is fragile and there is evidence of much old worm damage and repair, particularly of the edges of the folios, with common brown paper on to which overlap Watson's 18th century musings.
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Bhairavi Ragini
- 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
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1 (Watson number)