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A woman praying on a terrace, personifying a musical mode (Vangala Ragini)
Place of Origin: India, Rajasthan state, former kingdom of Bikaner
Date: approx. 1700-1750
Materials: Opaque watercolors on paper
Dimensions: H. 6 3/8 in x W. 4 1/4 in, H. 16 cm x W. 10.5 cm
Credit Line: Gift of George Hopper Fitch
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B84D6
On Display: No

Description

Label:

This painting depicts a feminine musical mode (ragini). The sets to which such works belonged were known as ragamalas (garlands of musical modes). In them, the various musical modes were idealized as human figures engaged in different activities or placed in settings evoking specific emotions, moods, and times of day. In the various classification systems used in South Asia, major musical modes (ragas) were personified as men or gods, while other modes were personified as their wives, sons, and, infrequently, daughters. An inscription on the reverse side of this painting identifies the seated female as Vangala Ragini, the wife of Bhairava Raga.

The symbolism of the painting follows a tradition encountered in many other ragamala paintings from the Rajasthan region. In this system the Vangala Ragini mode is usually represented as a female ascetic worshiping or meditating while a tame tiger or leopard lies nearby.


More Information

Additional Label:

In the quietness of the morning, the yogini is lost in the concentration of her prayers and devotions. The sounds of the conch shell and bell, among other ritual implements, and also perhaps her voice in prayer are all that would break the stillness. Even the cheetah remains transfixed.

(Object label from Worshiping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting.)


Label:

This painting depicts a feminine musical mode (ragini). The sets to which such works belonged were known as ragamalas (garlands of musical modes). In them, the various musical modes were idealized as human figures engaged in different activities or placed in settings evoking specific emotions, moods, and times of day. In the various classification systems used in South Asia, major musical modes (ragas) were personified as men or gods, while other modes were personified as their wives, sons, and, infrequently, daughters. An inscription on the reverse side of this painting identifies the seated female as Vangala Ragini, the wife of Bhairava Raga.

The symbolism of the painting follows a tradition encountered in many other ragamala paintings from the Rajasthan region. In this system the Vangala Ragini mode is usually represented as a female ascetic worshiping or meditating while a tame tiger or leopard lies nearby.


Expanded Label:

In the quietness of the morning, the yogini is lost in the concentration of her prayers and devotions. The sounds of the conch shell and bell, among other ritual implements, and also perhaps her voice in prayer are all that would break the stillness. Even the cheetah remains transfixed.

(Object label from Worshiping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting.)