Collection online

painting / album

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1962,1231,0.13.24

  • Description

    Opaque watercolour painting of Hanumān, the monkey-hero and devotee of Rama, returning from his journey to the Himalayas, carrying the mountain of healing herbs, the sanjivini parvatam, to restore to life Lakṣmaṇa and Rama’s allies fallen on the battlefield. Tufts of grass can be seen on the flanks of the mountain. On its summit is a temple with a golden roof adorned with four golden kalashas (water pots) pinnacles. Hanumān has a green complexion except for his reddish face and sharp fangs which protrude from his mouth. On his head is his tirukkorampam, a golden fillet with flower-shaped decorative elements; he wears a golden kavacha (armour) on his chest, with a short lower garment tied at the waist by a sash.

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  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1830 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 22.6 centimetres
    • Width: 17.6 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Telugu
      • Inscription Position

        lower border
      • Inscription Language

        Telugu
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Vishnu’s servant Hanuman brings the sanjivini parvatam to revive Lakshmanasvami
  • Curator's comments

    Dallapiccola 2010:
    Typical of South Indian iconography is Hanumān’s extended left hand as well as his long tail on which is tied a small bell.

    This painting is part of an album of ninety-one paintings (1962,1231,0.13.1–91) illustrating gods, goddesses, saints and scenes from Hindu mythology. One of the most interesting features of the album are the eight major temple sites included: Srirangam, Tiruvallur, Rameswaram, Tirunelveli, Palani, Madurai, Thiruvanaikoil (Tiruvanaikka or Jambukeshvara) and Tiruchchirappalli. Furthermore, included in this series are some of the most important murtis enshrined in temples such as Venkatachalapati of Tirumala, Vitthala of Pandharpur and Thyagarajasvami of Tiruvarur. The geographical area covered by the paintings encompasses the totality of the former Madras Presidency and extends into the former Bombay Presidency, giving an insight into the most revered pilgrimage sites in early nineteenth-century southern India.
    The drawings were first done in pencil, traces of which are still visible. In the course of his work the artist has sometimes changed his mind, as for instance in the positioning of the arms and feet of the figures. Slight shading has been consistently applied to the faces, arms and legs of the figures to suggest three-dimensionality. The vibrant colours and the delicacy of the drawings make the figures stand out from the pages.
    The pages are numbered in reverse order from the back, on paper water marked ‘1820’. Occasionally, a brief note is pencilled in English, probably by a British Museum curator, at the back of some of the temple depictions. An almost identical work, albeit containing a hundred drawings, each with bilingual inscriptions in Telugu and English, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (IM 355-1923 to 454-1923). The sequence of the images is similar to that in this album.

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  • Bibliography

    • Dallapiccola 2010 cat. 5.24 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    See 1962,1231.0.13.1

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Ramayana
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1962

  • Acquisition notes

    Transferred from the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books (OMPB) in 1962.

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    1962,1231,0.13.24

  • Additional IDs

    • 1167 (Egerton number)
Album leaf. Ramayana. Hanuman bearing the mountain of herbs and Telugu inscription. Painted on paper (European).

Album leaf. Ramayana. Hanuman bearing the mountain of herbs and Telugu inscription. Painted on paper (European).

Image description

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Object reference number: RFI1846

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