Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Nata Ragina: Folio from a ragamala series (Garland of Musical Modes)

Artist:
Mohamed (active early 18th century)
Date:
1714
Culture:
India (Rajasthan, Bikaner)
Medium:
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
6 x 4 3/4 in. (15.2 x 12.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of John and Evelyn Kossak, The Kronos Collections, 1980
Accession Number:
1980.526.2
Not on view
Within the ragamala tradition the association of music, text, and image is not always obvious. In this instance, in accord with visualizing music in a heroic mode, a male figure is described in the text as “[g]ripping his sword [as] he moves about the field of battle.” Yet this text also refers to a ragini, making the musical mode feminine, and hence the protagonist should presumably be a woman. While there are examples of this scene with a woman dressed as a warrior, more often, as we see here, it is a male figure. Such contradictions are common within the ragamala genre.
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